Feature Available on All Plans
Web or Mobile Feature

Each student contact type has varying levels of access to view student feeds. Contacts added as Parents, Family, or Approved Pickups can create their own brightwheel accounts.

Parents and Family will love getting updates on their students in real-time, and Approved Pickups can sign in to manage their own contact information and check-in code

But first we must get them set up. There are 3 ways you can invite student contacts: Email Invitation, SMS Text Message, or Printable Parent Invitations.

This article focuses on sending invites to contacts that you have already added to brightwheel. You can learn how to enter these contacts manually here. Or, you can add students and contact information in bulk via our Easy Roster Upload tool. Contacts added via roster upload will not receive invites automatically.

If you want to tell parents about brightwheel even before inviting them, we recommend using this Flyer

Nuts & Bolts: The User Experience

  • Contacts can setup accounts on the Mobile App or the web. We highly encourage the App, so parents and family contacts will receive push notifications.
  • Contacts will only see the students they are assigned to by the school in brightwheel.
  • Contacts can view multiple students or siblings on one account.
  • Multiple contacts can be assigned to a student.

Note: If a parent is also a teacher, that parent needs a separate email address. See more on that here.

Table of Contents

Inviting Contacts Via Email

Inviting new users to brightwheel via email is the easiest way to get these them set up and using the brightwheel app. See below to learn how to send these invites to contacts you have already added to brightwheel:

From the Web: 

  • Log in to the web app, and click on Parents from the top menu
  • Select either the Parents, Family, or Approved Pickups tab
  • Scroll down to the contact you wish to invite and click the Invite button under the Signed Up column
  • Once the invitation has been sent, you will see this Invitation Sent confirmation:
  • The contact will receive the following email with instructions on how to complete their account setup:

From the Mobile App:

  • Click on the student the contact you wish to invite is assigned to
  • Tap the Edit icon
  • Scroll to Contacts section and tap on the contact name you wish to invite
  • Hit the Invite to Join School button at the top of the profile:
  • A small bubble at the bottom of the screen will confirm that the invitation was sent and the button will disappear. The contact will receive the same email as shown above. 

Inviting Contacts Via SMS Text Messaging

If you do not have an email address on file for a contact, you can invite them via SMS text message via our web portal or the mobile app. Simply leave the email address field blank when creating the contact and enter a valid US or Canadian mobile number. 

Note: If a contact is added with an email address and a phone number, the contact will receive an email invite.

From the Web:

  •  the top menu
  • Select either the Parents, Family, or Approved Pickups tab
  • Scroll down to the contact you wish to invite and click the Invite button under the Signed Up column
  • Once the invitation has been sent, you will see this Invitation Sent confirmation:
  • The contact will receive the following text message with instructions on how to complete their account setup:

The link included in the text message will navigate directly to the brightwheel app or to the app store if brightwheel is not yet downloaded on the users device.

From the App:

  • Click on the student who's contact you wish to invite
  • Tap the Edit icon
  • Scroll to Contacts section and tap on the contact name you wish to invite
  • Tap the Invite to Join School button at the top of the profile
  • A small bubble at the bottom of the screen will confirm that the invitation was sent and the button will disappear. The contact will receive the same text message as shown above. 

Inviting Parents Via 10-Digit Code

In cases where you do not have a email or phone number to invite parents with, they can create their own brightwheel account and use a specific 10-digit code to connect their account with their student. 

This invite method should only be used for Parent contacts.

You can find your Parent Invite codes for each child on the web under the Contacts section of a child's profile. After a parent creates an account they will be prompted to enter their child's 10-digit code.

Note: If you have already added a parent's email address to their child's profile, they will automatically be connect to their child and will not need a 10-digit code, per the instructions above. 

You can also find Parent Invitation Handouts on the web version of brightwheel.

  1. Select Parents tab
  2. Select Download Parent Invitations 
  3. Download and Print the handouts to share with parents

Here is an example of the handout.

  • Parents will follow the instructions by creating an account and entering in the specific 10-Digit code.
  • This will associate them with their child and their name and contact information will appear on the student's profile.

Tracking Contact Sign Ups

You can track the status of your parents’ sign up from the Web version of brightwheel.

  1. Click Parents 
  2. View the information to the right of each name. Their status will read Signed Up once they have completed setup and logged in. 

Administrators will also receive an email every time a parent signs-up.

Note: If they have not yet signed up, you can send a reminder by clicking Send Reminder


Pro Tip: We recommend sending parents a personalized email from your school email informing them about brightwheel. You can use one of these
draft emails to get you started.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why do parents use brightwheel?

Typically, schools & teachers choose to invite parents of students to brightwheel for any of the following reasons:

  1. Daily reporting - Securely sharing recorded activities of their children via the app
  2. Digital check-in via private/secure 4 digit pins
  3. Paperless billing and payments

Numerous schools have shared unsolicitedly with us that using brightwheel with their parents has helped them with marketing and enrolling new students, since it offers parents a window into their child’s lives during the day and digitizes otherwise manual and paper intensive processes. Here is more information on getting started.

Can I invite all contacts at once?

At this time, only the parent contacts list has the ability to invite all contacts at once. If you are ready to invite all parent contacts, you can use the Invite All button at the top of the Signed Up column.

What happens after parents sign up?

After downloading the app and joining your school, parents can immediately see their child’s profile and change settings, like adding additional information about their child, inviting additional guardians, or changing their check-in code.

Can I share the daily actions with parents in any other format?

Not currently. But we’ll be adding other formats like daily/weekly summaries and alerts/notifications in the near future - all of which will be managed within teacher settings. We do summarize each day within a ‘daily report’ button within the feed in case you’d like to direct parents to view that feature.

If you would like to print it, you can print the Daily Feed updates from the website portion of brightwheel. Just click on the child's profile and view the daily feed. From there, select "Print" or CTRL +P from the menu.

Do I have to invite parents to brightwheel to use the reporting features?

No. You may leverage all the features of brightwheel for recording actions without incorporating parents into the experience. (But you should, they’ll love it.)

Can I limit parent access to the real-time activity feed?

Yes, you can record private/staff-only notes within the app that parents cannot see. Otherwise, you currently cannot restrict parents from seeing certain content within the activity feed. But we are adding features for managing parents permissions in the future, so stay tuned.

Can I limit parent's ability to edit student profiles

Yes! Learn how to update parent permissions here.

My parents are asking for a 10 digit code?

The 10-digit code is the child's unique ID in brightwheel. This code can be found in the parent invitations. A parent will need this 10-digit code to connect to their child if they either A) used a different email address to create their brightwheel account than the one listed in the school's account or B) they were never added as a parent on the child's profile.

You can loacate this code in the students profile, or by providing a handout to the parent.

Code in Student Profile:

  1. In the web portal, select Students
  2. Choose the student in question
  3. Click the Profile tab
  4. See the Parent Invite Code under the Info section

Parent Invite Handouts:

  1. From the web portal, select Parents tab
  2. Select “Download Parent Invitations”
  3. Download & Print the handouts & share with the parents.

Here is an example of the handout.  

This code is also included in the email sent to parent contacts only. 

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