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Add Students via Roster Upload Tool
Add Students via Roster Upload Tool

[All Staff] Use brightwheel's Roster Upload Tool to bulk upload new student profiles, information & contacts from a previous platform!

Sabrina avatar
Written by Sabrina
Updated over a week ago

Submitting a roster via brightwheel's roster upload tool on the web app is the fastest way to add students, their personal information, and any additional student contacts. This can be done within 24 hours, but typically within the same day!

Important Information

We understand that all information may not be on hand when first creating a student profile; that's why we have made our requirements as minimal as possible! The only information required to be on the roster import for each student is: First Name, Last Name, Homeroom, and at least one parent's contact information. This information is needed to ensure that actions and activities can be logged immediately after the roster has been imported.

As long as the roster has at least 10 students, the minimal information provided above, and is in a format we accept (CSV, XLSX, PDF, or doc) - our team will import it for you! Please note that the preferred format is CSV or XLSX; these file types are universally recognized and will help us prevent any errors that could occur when converting other file formats into a CSV!

There are also a few important callouts to be aware of when using the Roster Upload tool:

  • This tool is not available for Free accounts. However, Premium customers have unlimited uploads.

  • Once imported, our team does not send invites to student contacts. You can do this by following the invite steps here.

Exporting from Third-Party Systems

Coming to brightwheel from another platform? We can help to make the transition as seamless as possible!

Review our Roster Exports from Other Systems resource to see if your current provider is listed so you can easily follow the instructions to export!

💡If your current platform has the option to filter based on student status, we recommend only exporting active students. This will prevent confusion and ensure only the students actively enrolled in your program are imported to brightwheel

Roster Templates

We highly recommend using our pre-defined templates to ensure the fastest turnaround time on your import. We have two different types of templates: a simple roster upload and an advanced roster upload.

Simple Roster Template

This template covers the basic information needed to get your student accounts imported and populated. Many schools that invite parents do a basic setup using our template and then request that their parents populate their child’s profile with more detailed info (i.e. birthday, allergies, emergency contacts, additional guardians, etc.).

You can use any of the following simple templates to upload your roster:

Once you open the file, there will be further details and instructions in the top section of the template.

Advanced Roster Template

This template covers the basic information and a whole lot more! This template is a great option if you already have a lot of student profile information upfront and want to populate it more quickly. These fields can also be updated in bulk at a later time!

You can use any of the following advanced templates to upload your roster:

You can view more details about the fields contained in this template in the Advanced Roster Template Fields section below!

Upload a Roster

Once your roster meets the guidelines above, it’s ready to be uploaded! Make sure to log in to the school account for which this upload is intended and follow the steps below.

  1. Log in to the school's account on the web

  2. Click to expand the My School tab and select Students

  3. Click the purple + Add students drop-down and select Upload roster

  4. Click the Submit your roster button to upload your file
    💡If needed, click the linked ‘use our template’ text on this page to convert your export into an accepted file format (XLSX)!

  5. Drag or select the roster file to upload

  6. Once uploaded, the screen will refresh, and a confirmation message will appear with information on the expected turnaround time!

Bulk Update Existing Students

Admins can easily add new students and update existing student profiles simultaneously using the Roster Upload tool!

Visit our Bulk Update Students resource to learn more.

Advanced Roster Template Fields

If you choose to use our Advanced Roster Template mentioned above, these are the fields contained in the template with more notable details. These fields are grouped based on where they appear in the student's profile.

*These fields are required.

Student Identification

This field is not viewable on the student profile but is used when exporting and importing roster uploads to update student information and prevent duplicating profiles. If a student is already in brightwheel, do not change or remove this column.

  • brightwheel_id - Brightwheel assigns a unique ID to every student once they are created at a school. If creating new students, leave this field blank, and use the Roster Export to use these IDs to edit students in bulk. More on bulk editing here.

Personal Information

These fields pertain explicitly to the individual student. Please pay close attention to the descriptions, as our import tool requires specific formatting. 

  • *first_name - Student's first name.

  • *last_name - Student's last name.

  • birthdate - Student's date of birth, formatted as M/D/YYYY.

  • gender - At this time, our system is limited to "male", "female", or "other".

  • race - This field allows for any combination of the following entries - if selecting more than use, separate with a semicolon:  American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, White, Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Other Asian, Middle Eastern or North African, Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Chamarro, Other Pacific Islander, Some Other Race

  • ethnicity - Please enter either Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin OR Not of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin

  • allergies - Enter all student allergies here. If there is a valid entry, allergy badges will appear on student profiles.

  • notes - Notes are a great way to document special needs or any other useful information about this student or family. This is a free-form field.

  • medications - This is a free-form field; enter any medications necessary here. 

  • doctor_name - Doctor's full name.

  • doctor_phone - Doctor's phone number. 


Each student should be assigned to one homeroom, and they can also be assigned to additional rooms that they may be moved into and out of throughout the day. 

  • *homeroom - This is the student's primary room assignment; there can only be one homeroom assignment per student. 

  • room_1 - Adding additional room assignments to students allows the students to be checked in/out and moved between rooms throughout the day. Simply add a new column to the sheet and use the room_1 header; this will allow as many rooms as needed by changing the 1 to a 2, or 3, 4, 5, etc in different columns

School Details

The school details information will only be visible to staff members. This is where specific information can be input for reporting and tracking.

  • enrollment_status - Enter the student's status as Lead, Toured, Applied, Waitlist, Prospect, Active, Inactive, Graduated, or Removed. We cannot accept custom entries for this field at this time. 

  • meal_type - Assigning a meal type is a big help for CACFP reporting. Choose one of the following entries:  not_specified, free, reduced, paid, or leave the field blank.

  • student_id - Use this field to enter a student ID that the school has used in the past or wants to use in the future. This is a free-form field, so enter whatever is desired or leave it blank.


Enter the address where the student resides. 

  • street_1 - Student's street address.

  • street_2  - Any other address information such as PO Box, suite, or apartment number.

  • city - City name

  • state - Please use the two-letter abbreviation for the state. 

  • country - Please use the two-letter abbreviation for the country (ie: US).

  • zip - Student's zip code.

Enrollment Details

All the following fields relate to the student's enrollment and family's contact with the school.

  • first_contact_date - When the family first contacted the school (M/D/YYYY).

  • toured_date - When the family toured the school (M/D/YYYY).

  • paperwork_date - When all required paperwork was completed (M/D/YYYY).

  • desired_start_date - The date the family would like the student to start attending (M/D/YYYY).

  • enrollment_date - The date the student actually started attending (M/D/YYYY).

  • graduation_date - The date the student left the school (M/D/YYYY).

  • expected_birth_date - For expecting parents, enter the anticipated birthdate (M/D/YYYY).

  • sibling_attending - If the student has or will have a sibling attending, enter TRUE. Otherwise, enter FALSE

  • enrollment_additional_details - Enter any additional information needed regarding this student's enrollment.

Financial Details

This set of fields allows the ability to input family income and subsidy information for each student. 

  • family_income - Choose one of the following options and enter as seen here: Below 25,000 per year, 25,000 to 50,000 per year, 50,000 to 75,000 per year, 75,000 to 100,000 per year, 100,000 to 125,000 per year, 125,000 and above

  • subsidy - If the student receives a subsidy, enter TRUE otherwise, enter FALSE

  • subsidy_details - Enter any additional information needed regarding this student's subsidy.

Adding Student Contacts

Student contacts are not required when uploading a roster, but this makes a huge difference in student and staff involvement!

When adding this information, please enter the minimum of first and last name per contact and an email address or a valid, ten-digit US/Canadian mobile number. The other two phone number fields are free form, so any additional numbers can be listed there. Contacts are able to update or add to their personal contact information at any time.

💡 As many contacts as desired can be added to the roster template. To add more than one Parent, Family, Approved Pickup, or Emergency student contact, simply add extra excel columns for each new contact and change the 1 after the contact title to a 2, or 3, 4, 5, etc (E.g. To add a third parent contact, add new columns titled Parent 3: First Name, Parent 3: Last Name, Parent 3: Email, & Parent 3: Mobile).

  • parent_1_first_name

  • parent_1_last_name

  • parent_1_email

  • parent_1_mobile_phone

  • parent_1_phone_1

  • parent_1_phone_2

  • family_1_last_name

  • family_1_email

  • family_1_mobile_phone

  • family_1_phone_1

  • family_1_phone_2

  • approved_pickup_1_first_name

  • approved_pickup_1_last_name

  • approved_pickup_1_email

  • approved_pickup_1_mobile_phone

  • approved_pickup_1_phone_1

  • approved_pickup_1_phone_2

  • emergency_contact_1_first_name

  • emergency_contact_1_last_name

  • emergency_contact_1_phone

  • emergency_contact_1_relationship

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