Welcome to brightwheel! Brightwheel is the fastest and easiest to use software in early education. The details below explain steps that our team recommends for programs that are setting up new brightwheel accounts. We also encourage program administrators to view our On-demand Training Webinar for a in-depth overview.
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Personalize your program’s account
Check-in is a great place to start when setting up a new brightwheel account. We have several options for administrators to choose from to meet each specific program’s check-in needs, including:
- Quick Scan - This feature allows parents to use their own personal devices for contact-free check-in by scanning a QR code upon arrival
- Digital Signatures - Admins can opt to prompt parents for a signature when checking students in or out
- Health Screen - Collect and track health-related information as part of the check-in process
Note that Staff can also take attendance, mark students absent, and move students to other rooms using Attendance Mode.
Each program can also customize how they’d like to use our online Billing tool by adding their deposit account, and configuring their Billing Settings to adjust accepted payment methods, processing fee options, and late payment fee options.
Administrators can also add Rooms to organize students, staff, lesson plans, reports, and more.
Set up Devices
We recommend having one mobile device per classroom that can be used to access the brightwheel app. Our mobile app is compatible with Android and iOS tablets and phones - for more info, see Compatible & Recommended Devices! To get the most out of brightwheel, we recommend keeping the app updated to the latest version.
For day-to-day use, admins and staff will want to use the app to track attendance and activities. The brightwheel web app is great for managing school information, maintaining records, and all billing functionality. For more info, see Feature Availability on brightwheel’s web and mobile apps.
An important step in setting up student profiles is to add and invite contacts, so that Parents, Family members, and Approved pickups can start using brightwheel with the correct level of access to their students. When adding contacts, administrators have a few contact type options to choose from in order to allow the appropriate level of access:
Contacts can be added with an email address or a phone number, and administrators have several options for inviting contacts to brightwheel:
- Email/SMS Invitations: Admins can send invitations to all parents by clicking Invite All from the Parent List. This will send each parent a personal email or text message from brightwheel. For admins who would prepare to send a more personalized email, we’ve prepared an introduction email draft that can be edited and adapted to fit each program’s needs.
- Paper Invitations: Click Print Invitations from the Parent List. This will generate one PDF with individual invitations that can be printed and distributed to each parent.
- One-Pager: We’ve created a helpful handout that highlights what brightwheel is and why parents enjoy brightwheel. The handout is a PDF, so it can be downloaded and attached to an email, or printed and handed out to parents in person.
Administrators are also able to set up billing plans for students, so that selected charges are added automatically according to each program’s preferred schedule.
Add, Invite, & Train Staff
Administrators can add and invite staff to their accounts, with an optional email address. Programs that are intending for staff to use their personal devices for day-to-day app access will want to include email addresses when adding staff, so that staff are able to log in.
Programs that are intending to use shared school devices could opt to leave the email field blank. This will mean that staff won’t be able to log in to their accounts, and will access brightwheel via Room Device mode.
Before training staff, we recommend that administrators decide whether they’d like staff check-in to be completed via Quick Scan on individual devices, the Check-in Kiosk on a shared school kiosk device, or Attendance mode.
Staff can view our Staff Training videos to familiarize themselves with the app and to practice checking in and logging activities using the demo room. We recommend our Teacher Training: Personal Devices video for staff who will be accessing brightwheel by logging in to their own accounts on personal or school devices, and our Teacher Training: Room Devices video for staff who will be accessing brightwheel through Room Device mode on a shared school device.