Adding student contacts to a student’s profile is a vital part of setting up brightwheel. This action will enable all of the communication and check-in functionality within the brightwheel platform. When adding student contacts, administrators and staff with edit permissions have the option to choose from four contact types: Parent, Family, Approved Pickup, or Emergency Contact. Each contact type has a specific set of permissions and access to view student information.

When first implementing and setting up brightwheel, there are two simple streamline options for adding student contacts:

  1. Upload in Bulk: The fastest and most convenient way to add student information is through our easy Roster Upload Tool.

  2. Adding Manually by Student: To learn how to add these contacts manually, see the instructions below.

By default, Parent contacts have the permission to edit the student's profile and add additional student contacts. Some providers prefer to assign the responsibility of adding additional student contacts to the primary guardian. This article will walk them through this process step-by-step. If this is not desired, parent permission can be modified so that they are unable to make any edit’s to the student profile and this information will be view only.

In addition, administrators can choose to enable staff edit permissions for a specific staff member. This would allow them to modify and add student contacts as needed.

Table of Contents

Add Student Contacts

Administrators and staff members with edit permissions have the ability to edit a student's profile and can add student contacts from the web or mobile app. Adding a new contact will allow that individual to create a brightwheel account and be associated with that specific student. Adding new contacts to existing students is easy! Alternatively, brightwheel’s Roster Upload Tool allows the full roster to be sent to brightwheel to import into the database.

From the Web

From the App

  1. Click on My School > Students from the side menu

  2. Select a student by clicking on their name

  3. Scroll down to the Contacts section and click Add a contact

  4. Select the desired Contact Type from the drop-down

  5. Add the contact's information and click Save Contact

  6. Choose to send an invitation to join brightwheel now, or at a later date

  1. From a room, select the desired student

  2. Tap the Pencil icon to edit on android or Profile on iOS

  3. Scroll down to the desired contact type section or tap the Add field at the bottom of that contact section

  4. Enter Contact's information and hit Create

  5. Choose to send an invitation to join brightwheel now, or at a later date

Please Note:

  • A student contact can be added with just a first and last name, but these contacts will not receive an invitation until an email address or phone number has been added.

  • Contacts can be created using an email address OR mobile number. Entering either/or instead of both, greatly reduces errors when adding parents. You can still document an email address if you've added a phone number and vice versa. First add the email address or phone number to add/invite the parent. Then once they have been added you can use the Phone 1 or Email address field to add additional info. Parents can also add this additional information themselves to their account once they create their account, the information will then be updated on your end as well.

  • Mobile numbers must be a valid US or Canadian number with the area code.

  • Emergency Contacts only require first and last name and a phone number. These users are never invited to create a brightwheel account.

Add an Existing Contact to Additional Students

It's common for a student contact to be added to more than one student. Siblings may share the same contacts, a user could be a Parent for one student and an Approved Pickup for another. In cases like this, contacts can be added to multiple students with the same account information.

  1. Click My School > Students from the side menu

  2. Select a student by clicking on their name

  3. Scroll down to the Contacts section and click Add a contact

  4. Choose the Existing tab on the pop-up

  5. Select the desired Contact Type from the drop-down

  6. Pick the desired contact name from the drop-down list

  7. Click Save Contact

Modify or Delete a Contact

Once a contact has been created in brightwheel with an email address or mobile number added, schools are not able to edit their name, email address, or mobile phone number. The contact now owns the account and controls their personal information. They can update their information in their own profile.

If an email address and or phone number was added with a typo or other mistakes were made that impact the user’s ability to create or log in to their account, the administrator can first delete the contact's record with outdated/incorrect information and then re-add them as a new Contact with the correct information. The user will need to create a new account with this updated information.

Delete Student Contact

In cases where a student contact needs to be removed from a student’s profile, the associate can be deleted by an administrator, staff member, or parent contact with the proper permissions. By removing a student contact, the association between the contact and the student will be severed. This does not delete the contact's brightwheel account. They will still be able to log in and see any other students they are associated with, or if no additional students are connected to the contact’s profile, they will see a blank page with the brightwheel logo. If they need their account removed completely, have them email to make this request.

From the Web

From the App

  1. Click on My School > Students from the side menu

  2. Select the child this contact is associated with by clicking on their name

  3. Scroll down to the Contacts section and click Edit in the header

  4. Click Remove to the left on the pickup's line

  5. Confirm the action by clicking Remove from the popup window

  1. From a room, select the desired student

  2. Tap the Pencil icon to edit on android or Profile on iOS

  3. Scroll down to the desired contact

  4. Simply tap the X to remove the contact

FAQ and Troubleshooting

For the security and safety of the student’s personal information, adding and modifying contacts in a student’s profile must be done in a very specific way. It is common to receive an error message if the instructions outlined above are not followed.

Common Error Messages

The following error messages are the most common when modifying a student’s contact list. Typically they're straightforward to resolve, but sometimes, the contact may need to reach out to our support team to deactivate an old or duplicate account.

The phone number and email belong to different accounts in brightwheel.

This error indicates that there is a mismatch between the email address and mobile phone number entered. This may mean that the contact has two accounts, one with their phone number and one with their email address. To correct this, try adding the contact with ONLY their email address. The contacts should reach out to to have the account associated with their phone number removed so that they can add it to their active account.

[Contact name] is already a contact for [Student name].

This indicates that the contact being added is already added as a contact for that student. If the intent is to change the contact type, simply edit the record and choose the desired contact type.

This email belongs to a teacher account. Please use a different email to create their parent account.

This means that the email address of the contact being added already associated with a staff/teacher account. This staff account needs to be deactivated before the email address can be used as a student contact. Start a conversation with our support team, and let them know that the account associated with that email address needs to be deactivated. Alternatively, this contact can be added as a student contact with just their mobile phone number. This will allow them to use brightwheel as both a student contact and a teacher.

Other Common Issues

Sometimes it is not always clear what is happening when viewing the brightwheel app as a student contact. Below are the most common questions our support team receives and how best to address them.

Why can’t the contact see any messages or billing?

This means that the contact type was not set correctly. The administrator should update the current contact record to be a parent contact type. Parent contacts are the ONLY contact types that can access messages and billing.

The contact has two accounts, one with an email and one with a phone number, can I merge them?

While it is not possible to merge these accounts, it is possible to disconnect and deactivate one account and then add the information to the desired one.

  1. Ensure the contact is added to the student with their phone number

  2. Request that they send an email to and ask to have the account associated with the email address deactivated

  3. Once the account is fully deactivated, have them log into brightwheel with their phone number and add their email address to their profile

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