​​The Wait Is Over: Paperless Referral Workflows will be here March 10!

Until now, your referral process has relied on a paper shuffle between teachers, principals, and data entry staff. This latest set of features lets you capture the efficiency of your actual referral process right inside your SWIS account, minus all that paper. All of this is yours March 10 with just the flick of a switch in your school settings.

But don't fret, if you don't turn on paperless workflows in your settings nothing changes!
Only your SWIS Admin or Facilitator can turn it on!

What You Can Expect With This Release

​Going paperless in SWIS comes with many features!

Save a Draft Referral 
Every SWIS user who enters referrals has the new option to save a referral as a Draft. Drafts in SWIS work the same way as drafts in your email: They're simply referrals you haven't submitted yet. If you start entering a referral and get called away to something else, or you just want some time to think the situation through, you can save that referral as a draft and come back to it later. You are the only person who can access your draft referrals until you save them as complete or send them away for review. Any referral you leave in Draft status longer than 30 days gets automatically deleted from the system. 

Your Referral Process Goes Digital 
Each school has a process for handling office discipline referrals (ODRs), a way every referral moves from the classroom to complete in SWIS. Now you can manage that referral process digitally, automatically, by enabling workflows in your SWIS account. 

SWIS workflows let teachers enter referrals directly into SWIS and then assign them to an administrator for an action taken. Administrators get an email notification AND an in-app notification letting them know when a referral is waiting for their review. They complete any missing information and save the referral to SWIS. There are a few ways you can tailor your workflow settings to match your school's existing process. 

Save a Minor With or Without a Review 
If teachers manage minor behaviors in the classroom, they can do the same in SWIS. Let them complete their classroom-managed referrals in SWIS without requiring a review first. 

Name Your Own Reviewers 
We know workflows will look different in each building. Some of you might want to have administrators set up as reviewers. Some might want a counselor added. That's why we're putting the control in your hands to name your school's reviewers. A reviewer is anyone in your building who decides on an action taken for those office-managed referrals, or anyone who can take a quick look over submitted referrals and decide they're complete. Any user with Data Entry access or higher is eligible for this new role. 


New User Access Alert: Referral Entry Only 

Do you want your school's teachers to enter their referrals directly into SWIS? Have you been using paper referrals when the rest of your systems have gone paperless? We hear you. When your school starts using referral workflows, it gets a new user access level just for this purpose: Referral Entry Only.

We created this access level specifically with teachers in mind. The only thing Referral Entry Only users can do inside SWIS is enter ODRs. Their views inside the application aren't cluttered up with windows unrelated to the referral entry task and all reports remain confidential. If your school wants teachers to enter their referrals directly into SWIS, this is the access level they'll need. 

Set Up Referral Entry Only Users Inside SWIS 
SWIS Admin users, listen up: You are the ones who get to set up Referral Entry Only users…and you do it right within the comforts of your school's SWIS account. Send them an invitation to join your team! The process couldn't be easier and it's all at your own fingertips!


What You Can Do Right Now to Get Ready 

Starting March 10, every SWIS account will come equipped with both the ability to save referrals as drafts as well as the new workflow settings. Until then, there are things you can do right now to be sure your school is ready to hit the ground running. 

Come Up With a Plan 
Think about how you would use workflow functionality in your school. Which parts of your current workflow are captured in the new SWIS settings? Which parts will be left out? How will you handle referral reviews? Decide now what your rollout process will be in your school.

Decide if You Want to Start Slow 
Fully implementing workflows in your building is one way to go. One way to start slowly would be to set up a specifically selected group of teachers with referral entry only access. Have them test the workflow and iron out the wrinkles before expanding school-wide. Decide on a date you'll start setting up the remainder of your building with referral entry only access and how you'll introduce the process to all staff members. Consider if you want to go all in with workflows right away, or if taking a slower approach works best for your building. 

Update Your Staff Roster—Including Email Addresses 
No matter who you plan to invite, you can start updating staff records in SWIS now with email addresses. To set up a referral entry only user, you'll send them an invitation; that requires an email address. There are two ways to make sure these staff records have an email address:
  • Edit existing records manually in Person Management.
  • Import a staff roster with email addresses using Person Import​

We know you're looking for efficient processes that save your school time and resources. There's no reason for you to use paper referrals when paperless options surround every aspect of your school day. Referral workflows give your school options for managing minor ODRs, setting up teachers with their own logins, and naming who reviews ODRs in your building. Be sure your school knows how it's going to implement these features and when March 10 comes, make the switch to paperless referrals!