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The Main Window
The primary interface to the ParentEve program is its main window
as shown below:
It is composed of three areas:
- A summary area at the top (underneath the menu and toolbar), which
displays the description of the current event being edited and the score
it currently has
- A "tree" on the left, which displays all of the
parents, teachers and pupils
- An overview area on the right, which provides a graphical overview of
the whole event.
The toolbar contains icons representing some common
operations and actions, and allows you to quickly perform these actions without
having to select them from the menu.
The buttons are, in order:
- New event: allows you to create a new parents' evening, as
described in Start Working on an Event .
- Load event file: loads an event file from disk that you
have previously worked on.
- Save: saves the current event to your disk. If you have not
yet chosen a filename for the file to be saved under, the program will
ask you to choose one. Once the program knows the name of the file it
will not ask you again. It is good practice to save your work often.
- Print: starts the print process for printing out all of the
handouts. Pressing this button will make the program show a "Print
Preview" window which shows you what your handouts will look like. From
this window you can choose which ones to print, how many copies you would
like and which printer to print them on.
- Import teachers: reads in a list of teachers from your MIS or from
This is the most common way of telling ParentEve about your teachers -
you export a file from your MIS system and ParentEve reads it in.
- Import pupils: reads in a list of pupils and parents from your MIS or
from a file.
This works in the same way as the teacher import, except that
the file contains pupil definitions. Most MIS systems can export
a pupil's parent at the same time, so ParentEve will use this list
to create parents too if possible.
- Rebook: clears all of the current appointment times and
rebooks all the parents back in on a first-come-first-served basis.
- Book Unbooked: searches for any unbooked requests, and books
them in. This leaves the existing appointments untouched and should be
used after entering any new requests for parents to see teachers.
- Optimise: moves existing appointments around, trying to
reduce the length of time that both parents and teachers have to wait.
The Overview Area
This area shows a graphical overview of the current schedule. If you have
a small screen it may not all fit on, but you can scroll it around using
the scroll bars on the left and bottom edges in order to see the whole thing.
The overview area consists of two grids, one representing the teachers
and one representing the parents. The grids list people against time, so
teachers and parents are listed down the side (the vertical axis) and time is
considered to be the horizontal axis.
Each square represents a single appointment slot, with the start
of the evening on the left hand side and the end on the right. Each square
can be one of the following colours:
- White: a free slot with no appointment
- Red: a booked slot where there is an unacceptable delay directly before it
- Blue: a booked slot with no delay or an acceptable delay beforehand
- Purple: one of two booked slots for twins, where the other twin's appointment is not immediately before
- Grey: a slot where the person in question is not able to attend
- Yellow: a teacher's break
A perfect schedule with a score of 1,000 will have no red or purple squares, as
these squares represent penalty points which reduce the score. The overview
is very useful for quickly seeing where there are problems in a schedule.
The purple squares will only be visible if you have set the scoring to try to
bring twin appointments together (see Schedule Scoring and Optimisation
In this case, if there are twins who are both marked as seeing the same teacher,
the software will try to put both appointments next to each other with no gap.
If the second appointment is not immediately after the first, then the second
appointment will be shown in purple.
If an appointment qualifies for both red (excessive waiting) and purple
(non-adjacent twins) status, then it is shown in red.
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