Balance Letter Wizard

This functionality is only available to customers who have purchased Campus Point of Sale as add-on functionality.

PATH: Point of Sale > Reports > Balance Letter Wizard

The Balance Letter Wizard allows you to create a letter that includes the patron’s POS account balance. It offers basic demographic information, an account balance and the mailing address. Letters can be saved for quick retrieval and generation at future dates.

The Balance Letter does not work for students that are end dated. To send an account balance letter to guardians of end dated students, use the Patron Balance Report.

Balance Letter Wizard

Creating a POS Account Balance Letter Template

  1. Select the New Letter button located underneath the Balance Letter Templates area.
    Result
    The Trigger Criteria screen displays.
  2. Use the information in the following table to complete the fields on this screen.

    Field

    Description

    Name

    This name should be representative of what the letter contains. For example, if the letter is only for students that have a reduced eligibility, the template might be named “Patron Balance – Reduced.”

    Max Balance

    Enter the maximum balance of the accounts that should be returned. This balance is limited to six digits – four places before the decimal point, two places after the decimal point (dddd.cc).

    Eligibility

    Select which patron eligibility statuses you want to return.

    Date Type

    Select one of the following options: Transaction Date or Post Date.
    Transaction Date is the date the meal was purchased. Post Date is the date the transaction is listed on the account. These dates are often the same.

    Print Options

    Mark this checkbox to print letters with the blank header.

  3. Click the Letter Format button.
    Result
    The WYSIWYG editor, where text for the letter is entered, displays.
  4. Type the text of the letter in the Format section in English.

    Tips

    • Use the standard formatting buttons to emphasis important items.
    • Note the last two icons of the WYSIWYG editor. These are the Field Properties and Sub-Report Properties. Select items from these ad hoc fields to pull data connected to the letter. 
    • To return the POS Account Balance, you must select the POS Account Balance from the Sub-Report Properties. Do NOT select the POS Account Balance from Field Properties. The Field Properties return static data contained in Campus and Sub-Report Properties return the most current calculated balance for the patron when letters are printed. Since the POS Account Balance can change throughout the course of a day, the Sub-Report Properties are required.
  5. If necessary, enter translated text to send the same letter in non-English formats for those individuals who are assigned a Preferred Language that is not English.

     Click here to see Preferred Language Setup Instructions.

    Preferred Language Setup

    This format screen allows the input of the actual body of a letter. Letters can be created in several languages (see the Preferred Language Letter Setup section below). A school can create an Attendance letter in however many languages are needed, but it must first be entered in the selected Default Value.

    Infinite Campus does not provide translation services.

    Districts must use their own resources when creating communication to parents/guardians, students, staff, etc. in another language.

    Letters must exist in the assigned default language (see Step 1). Text can be entered for additional languages, as needed for the district's population. Two things must be done:

    Existing language codes should not be modified. Access to letters is lost until the original code is recreated. If that language code is assigned to any person, that assignment is lost as well.

    Step 1. Enter the Preferred Language Default Value

    PATH: System Administration > Custom > Attribute/Dictionary

    Enter the desired Default Value for the Preferred Language. This value is used to show the Default Language Preview when creating letters in other languages, and if no Preferred Language has been assigned to an individual (Step 3), letters generate in this default language.

    1. Expand the Contact object.
    2. Click on Preferred Language element. A Campus Attribute Detail editor displays.
    3. Enter the appropriate Default Value. This could be en_US, es_MX, or another abbreviation that matches the Code assigned to the Languages entered in the Dictionary list. The entered value must match the Dictionary Code for that language.

    Preferred Language Default Value

    Step 2. Add Language To Attribute/Dictionary

    PATH: System Administration > Custom > Attribute/Dictionary

    Languages available here are used in the Preferred Language Selector and control the list of languages.

    1. Expand the Preferred Language attribute and select Dictionary. A Preferred Language Dictionary Detail editor displays.
    2. Click the Add Row button in the far right corner of the Detail editor.
    3. Enter a Code, Name and Sequence for the language.
    4. Mark the language as Active.
    5. To add more languages, click the Add Row in the right hand corner, and repeat steps 3 and 4. 
    6. Click the Save icon when finished.

    The Language Code can be up to 15 characters in length.

    Attribute Dictionary - Preferred Language

    Any language can be added or removed. But the language entered as the Default Value MUST remain. As the default preferred language, it is the assumed language when an individual does not have a Preferred Language assigned. Letters do not generate at all if this language is removed. The Code entered in the Dictionary must match the Default Value.

    Default Value Matches Dictionary Code

    Step 3. Assign Preferred Language to Parent/Guardian

    PATH: Census > People > Demographics > Personal Contact Information

    Assign the Preferred Language to the parent/guardian who receives an attendance letter. This field can be assigned to all persons in Campus, as well. It's used to send other sorts of messages to parents/guardians, staff and students.

    Parents/guardians can also select the Preferred Contact Language on the Contact Preferences editor in the Campus Portal.

    Preferred Language Assignment

    Step 4. Create the Letter in the Default Language

    Create the letter in the Default Language.

    Preferred Language Display

    Default Language: English

    In the following example, en_US: US English is the Default Language.The Attribute/Dictionary has been entered as follows:

    • Preferred Language Default Value: en_US
    • Preferred Language Dictionary Value Code: en_US

    When the same letter is created in another language, the English version displays as the Preview.

    Default Language: es_MX

    In the following example, es_MX: Spanish (Mexico) is the Default Language.The Attribute/Dictionary has been entered as follows:

    • Preferred Language Default Value: es_MX
    • Preferred Language Dictionary Value Code: es:_MX

    Spanish Default Language Setup

    When the same letter is created in another language, the Spanish version displays as the Preview.

    Preferred Language in Spanish Letter Preview

    When finished, choose the applicable Organized To: option and click the Save Format button. Follow your district's standard procedure to print and generate attendance letters. Letters in English and letters in non-English generate in the same collection of letters. When a parent/guardian is assigned a Preferred Contact Language that is not English, the letter prints in that language.

    Step 5. Create the Letter in Additional Languages

    After creating the letter in the Default Language, enter text for this same letter in a different language by selecting the language in the Preferred Language list and type/paste translated text into the WYSIWYG editor. That language becomes bold, and an Active checkbox becomes available. A language version of the letter is only a draft until the Active checkbox is marked.

    When it is determined that the draft letter can be sent, mark the Active checkbox, indicating the letter is now ready to print for those individuals assigned that Preferred Language.

    Letter in Spanish

    Repeat these steps for the other languages in which letters need to be available.

    Please adhere to any district policy that may exist for what needs to be included in the letters.

    Step 6. Send the Letters

    A letter is sent for each distinct Preferred Language associated with the parents/guardians in the household marked to receive mailings. In the example below, one of the student's guardians receives a letter in Spanish, because that is the Preferred Contact Language for that guardian, and another of the student's guardians at a different mailing address receives the same letter in English. If there are two parent/guardians in the household assigned the same Preferred Language, one letter generates for the household.

    Letters in Multiple Languages

    There may be certain foreign language characters that don't line up properly with other text when using the Campus Fields or when fonts are mixed (like using phone numbers alongside non-English characters). Try adding additional returns between lines.


  6. Select the Organized To dropdown list to assign the letter to a certain user group.
  7. Click the Save Format button.


Inserting an Image into a Letter

To include images on letters (using the available letter wizards), only .JPEG images can be used. However, if you have trouble with a .JPEG image in FOP, try opening it with an image processing program (such as Photoshop or Gimp) and then save it. Specifying 24-bit color output may also help.

For the PDF and PostScript renderers, most .JPEG images can be passed through without decompression. Grayscale, RGB, and CMYK color spaces  render properly; however, for other output formats, the .JPEG images have to be decompressed.

Generating the POS Balance Letter

  1. Select the Balance Letter Wizard from the POS Index.
  2. Select the letter to generate from the Balance Letter Template area.
  3. Select which Grades to include on the report. All students in the selected school can be selected, as well as individual grade levels. Alternatively, the user may select an Ad hoc Filter to use when generating the report.
  4. Enter an Enrollment Effective Date. This date will not include students who have ended enrollment as of this date.
  5. Enter a Summary Date. This date will capture the account balance as of that date. This is a required field and will be defaulted to the current date.
  6. Select the Sort Option for the letter.
  7. Click the Print Letter button. The report will generate, displaying the elements included in the report.

Editing or Deleting POS Balance Letters

To make changes to a letter, select the letter from the Balance Letter Templates area and select the Edit button. Follow the instructions for modifying criteria and save the changes.

To delete a letter, select the letter from the Balance Letter Templates and select the Delete button.

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