Service Hours Tracking System

Merlin Siteworks has created an innovative Online Service Hours Tracking System for schools and other groups that need to manage volunteer service hours programs.

 

This online database-driven system provides Users a way to sign up to work shifts and have online access to their up-to-date status and hours reports, with automatic email reminders of upcoming shifts. It provides Event Chairpersons the ability to define shifts, tasks, and workers needed, print schedules and sign-in sheets, and validate all hours worked. It provides Administrative Staff with a wealth of reports with sorting/filtering options, as well as a rich set of features for user support and other admin functions.

 

See below for a detailed listing of features as well as screenshots and access to a Live Demo.

 

Merlin Siteworks was invited to present this system at the October 2012 meeting of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) (Region 6). You can download that NCEA presentation in PDF format here.

 

Are you looking for an innovative and modern solution for your service hours program?

Contact us at Merlin Siteworks and let’s discuss your needs and how we can help.

 

Live Demo

There’s nothing like seeing a live working system to really understand what the Service Hours Tracking System is all about and the value that it offers.

 

So we’ve created a demo system for you to log in and take for a test drive.

 

Go to: Merlin Siteworks Academy demo site

 

User IDs: We created 3 for you to try when you click on “Log in”:

  • demoparent – This allows you to exercise the features that Parents / families have access to
  • demochair – To log in as an Event Chairperson and access the Admin area with special Event Chair permissions
  • demooffice – To log in as an Office Staff member and access the Admin area with Office Staff permissions

Password: All 3 of these logins have a password of: demo

 

Screen Shots

Click on a screen to see a pop-up slideshow:

 

 

Parents

Account Management, Help

  • Online “Getting Started” guide
  • Online Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  • Self-creation of new accounts
  • Security precautionary emails whenever new user links in to this household account, or household users update their profile
  • Update user profile to keep contact information up to date
  • Can change user IDs and passwords at any time
  • Password reset feature (new password sent to email stored in the account)
  • Households can have a single joint account or multiple separate accounts, all linked to the common household records
  • Have the system send a Test Email to ensure automated emails will work (and can update their profile if there’s an error found)

Signing Up for Tasks

  • View all events for the year and how many workers are still needed for each shift
  • View description of each shift task, to learn what each given task involves prior to signing up
  • View who is already signed up for shifts, to enable working with friends
  • Sign up for any task that still needs workers
  • Can specify “alternate worker” who will be working the shift and still get credit for this household
  • Can add a comment when signing up for a shift, which gets emailed to the event chairperson

Reporting, Reminders, Updates

  • Dynamic news updates / blog for viewing latest news and communications from the school
  • View detailed online report of Service Hours worked, to always have an up-to-date view of accumulated hours
  • View list of all upcoming shifts this household has signed up for
  • Receive confirmation email immediately upon shift sign-up
  • Receive up to 2 automated reminder emails per shift (e.g. a week in advance, and a day or two in advance)
  • Can edit a shift already signed up, e.g. to update a different/alternate worker
  • Ability to change or cancel sign-ups for future shifts, if the shift is far enough out in time
  • Receive an explanatory automated email if the event chairperson validates a different amount of hours worked than the specified shift amount

Event Chairs

Leading up to an Event / Shift:

  • Define events, shifts, and tasks that can be signed up throughout the year
  • Define how many workers are needed for each task, for each shift
  • Provide task descriptions so that users know what each task involves prior to signing up
  • Receive an automated email anytime a user adds a comment as part of their sign-up
  • Print a shift schedule of workers that includes contact information and can also serve as a worker sign-in sheet
  • Cancel or update a worker’s sign-up, when circumstances require last-minute updates
  • Sign up users into shifts/tasks, on behalf of a registered user
  • Sign up non-users into shifts/tasks (e.g. misc friends and supporters, not associated with the group
  • Create news stories in the Parents and Admin blogs for communication with all the parents and admin staff, respectively

Following a given event / shift / work task:

  • Quick and easy validation of each worker’s hours after the shift/event has completed
  • Optionally update the hours worked and add comments as part of hours validation, if hours worked were different than scheduled
  • Record miscellaneous hours worked by a user, not associated with a pre-defined shift/tasks

View Reports — Common between Event Chairpersons and Administrative / Support Staff

  • Always includes the latest and most current data (retrieved from centralized database)
  • Reports created in .pdf format to enable easy printing, saving, including in email, etc.
  • List of all registered users, their contact info, and their associated household
  • Detailed cumulative report for a given household, including hours worked and future shifts signed up
  • Summary of all service hours signed up — with options for level of detail and sorting, and including per-event totals of needs vs. actual
  • Monthly summary of event totals, including hours and shifts required, and hours and shifts signed up
  • Monthly summary of workers for each event
  • Transaction log of security-related and less frequent activity – new accounts, password resets, profile updates, manual entry of misc service hours by admin staff, etc.

Admin

Tools to be able to Support Parents

  • View the list of Students in the database
  • View details of a parent’s account information
  • View which parents/worker accounts are associated with a given household
  • Request a password reset on behalf of a parent
  • Create an account for users without computer access
  • Sign-up shifts/tasks on behalf of a parent/worker

Managing / Updating Recorded Service Hours

  • Update the number of hours worked by a user for a given shift
  • Grant/record service hours credit to a given user for misc. work performed, not associated with an event/shift
  • Transfer hours worked by one household to a different household (service hours credit transfer)

Taking Action on Logins / Accounts

  • Approve or decline pending new Admin user login requests
  • Suspend a user’s account (for suspected abuse, or to deactivate for other reasons)
  • Re-activate a user’s account that is current suspended or inactive

Keeping Student Data Current

  • Add a student into the database, a few at a time
  • Add students into the database, batch-mode via Excel spreadsheet upload
  • Delete a student from the database

Audits / Reports

  • Run a report to show parents with low amount of service hours (as specified as input to the report)
  • Send automated email to those parents in the audit report, alerting them of their current low-hours status

View Reports — Common between Event Chairpersons and Administrative / Support Staff

  • Always includes the latest and most current data (retrieved from centralized database)
  • Reports created in .pdf format to enable easy printing, saving, including in email, etc.
  • List of all registered users, their contact info, and their associated household
  • Detailed cumulative report for a given household, including hours worked and future shifts signed up
  • Summary of all service hours signed up — with options for level of detail and sorting, and including per-event totals of needs vs. actual
  • Monthly summary of event totals, including hours and shifts required, and hours and shifts signed up
  • Monthly summary of workers for each event
  • Transaction log of security-related and less frequent activity – new accounts, password resets, profile updates, manual entry of misc service hours by admin staff, etc.

 

 

Testimonials

“I wanted to be forward thinking in our approach to our service hours program and implement a new online system that would serve us well into the future. I also wanted to ensure our transition to this system was seamless and well-received by our parents. I’ve been very pleased with how smoothly things have gone, by the support we’ve received from Merlin Siteworks, and by the heavy usage and positive feedback from the parents. Our goals have been met and exceeded.”

 

– Doug McNight, President, Newark Catholic School Board

 

 

“I wanted a system that would improve the efficiency for our office staff in managing our service hours program, would produce needed reports throughout the year, and would provide parents with transparency into their service hours records. We defined the need for our community, Mark and Jim at Merlin Siteworks found a way to create the program that met that need. They were with us from the beginning concept and continue to be of service. Immediate assistance is just a call or e-mail away.”

 

– Beth Hill, Principal, Newark Catholic High School

 

 

“This new online system is well-designed with easy-to-use interfaces and features that make my job a lot easier. The Merlin Siteworks team has been more than responsive whenever I’ve had questions or suggestions and things have been sailing along with no issues. The system is easy to use and exceeds my needs, and I’ve heard nothing but positive reactions from parents who like the convenience of the online system.”

 

– Pete Ceneviva, Bingo Chairperson and parent, Newark Catholic High School