We're constantly making Presto Assistant better. Here are many of the features and improvements added to Presto since it first launched.
May 15, 2022
End of Year Prep and Balance Sheet
Welcome to May. It’s time to get ready for the End of Year Process. The newest Presto updates will help you move even faster through the process and get your finances even more organized!
End of Year Preparation
If you haven’t signed in for a while, you’ll be greeted with a new screen to update the “Successor Organization” for your organization. This will be the group that most of your students would attend next year, i.e. your “feeder pattern” for your school district.
If you are a college or university organization or set your graduation grade to 12th grade, you don’t need to set a successor organization.
When you finish the End of Year Process for your organization, Presto will use the successor organization information to automatically send all students and their connected adult relatives to the Presto organization you designate. That helps the feeder organization have the correct data automatically in their system.
What about magnet schools or split feeder patterns?
Great question! You have the option to go to any student’s details page to update their successor organization to another school in the Presto Assistant district. Press the Edit icon and look for the successor organization select near the “Is Eligible” area.
NOTE: this will only show if you have selected a successor organization for your group.
End of Year Process
On the End of Year Process Members step, you can adjust the data for any “Returning Student”. This means that they are continuing on with band, choir, dance, orchestra, or theater after this school year, regardless of grade. For students leaving your campus, update their successor organization to the school they will attend next year.
NEW FEATURE ALERT: You can directly edit the data in the “Update Returning Students” table. Double-click on a cell and select or type a new value. Hit Enter or click away to automatically save the data. Look for “EDIT MODE” to come to more tables soon!
Directors sometimes reach out and ask for features, and we deliver! Now you can download a balance sheet to see how much each member owes at a glance.
You can download a balance sheet from your Dashboard Financial Overview card or the “Overview” page for finances.
Sometimes you need to waive a fee for a member in your organization. Now you can do that directly from the Fees table. Press the triple-dot “More Actions” icon at the end of the row and select “Waive Fee”. A confirmation dialog will pop up for you to enter a reason to waive the fee.
Send Statements to Students Who Owe
A highly-requested feature has landed. Now you can email financial statements only to members that have a balance. You asked, and we built it!
All PeoplePicker tables that slide up from the bottom of the screen have been converted to use the new Data Table format. It’s quicker than ever to find the data you need on these tables now!
All data for people in Presto Assistant now includes Middle Name.
Sending emails is much faster after we got under the hood and tweaked the performance.
When you sign in, you’ll see a reminder to start the End of Year Process. This will only show up every 3 days now. You can start the End of Year Process from your Dashboard, too.
On a new email draft, you’ll see the number of recipients directly under the names of the recipients.
We fixed an issue where relationships between members (like parent/child) would sometimes show up incorrectly.
We hope the spring semester is going well for all Presto groups. Our upcoming updates to the data tables are about to make your day better!
Data Table Updates
The Students table is the first part of Presto Assistant to get a preview of the upcoming data table interface. Let’s take a look at how this new table will save you a ton of time.
First, go to the Students page and toggle the switch to preview the V2 table.
• All data is shown
No more pages to sift through. All of the data is in the table at your fingertips.
• More columns, More data
You can now easily see Secondary Roles and Groups.
• Show and hide columns
If you don’t want to view a column, press the “Columns” toolbar button and remove the column from view. Your browser will remember your column preference to keep your workflow intact. You can add them back whenever you need to.
• Re-order columns
Rearrange the columns by dragging and dropping them to a new spot in the table.
• Mulitple filters
You can apply many filters at the same time using the Filter button in the toolbar. It’s a breeze to view the data for 9th grade students who are all in 1st period or any other combination of filters.
• Export and print
Once you get the data table showing the information you need, you can quickly export as a CSV file or print directly from the table. Putting together your reports has never been so easy!
The Presto support site continues to grow. Check out some articles HERE!
The Suppressed Emails Table now allows selection to help you remove emails from the list faster. Please make sure to help your member resolve their issue before removing them from the suppressed list.
Fixed an issue with deleting a selection of groups from the Groups table.
More End of Year Process enhancements are in the works.
We plan to roll out the new data tables across more of the Presto Assistant web app.
Team Presto had a blast at TMEA 2022 talking to old friends and co-workers and meeting lots of new people. So much positive energy! Since then we’ve been doing a bit of pre-Spring cleaning. Check out what we’ve been up to!
CC list: In your organization settings page, you can now set up all emails for your Presto user to be carbon copied (a.k.a. CC’d) to your organization’s directors and/or to a list of emails that you add.
The Bounced Emails table is renamed as the Suppressed Emails table. You will only see a link to this page if you have members not receiving emails. We normally update the suppressed email list one time per day in the wee hours of the night. Please reach out to Presto support with any questions.
You have more visibility into the reason a member of your organization is not receiving emails from the Presto email service provider. It’s almost always because of one of these reasons:
The email address is misspelled.
The recipient has a full inbox.
We also spent a lot of time digging into why some emails to Yahoo and Microsoft email domains were being rejected. After some experimenting with different setups, all Presto Assistant organizations now work on a more robust email system. If you do “tech speak”, all Presto email is now sent through a dedicated IP address. Presto email service has, and has always had, a sterling reputation in the industry, so we expect emails to be delivered correctly.
TIP: Keep an eye out for the Suppressed Email list. If we are trying to send emails to known email addresses that are not able to receive them, the email address will end up on the suppressed list again. If you can work with your members to get the “Reason” fixed, then it’s good to remove the email from the list and try again. Thanks for helping us keep the email system working well!
Online Payments with Stripe are currently being tested by a handful of schools in Houston and Dallas. It’s all looking good and should be available to a broader base of Presto districts soon.
Financial Accounts are now required when using any aspect of the finances feature. This handy support article explains how to add Financial Accounts. This change prepares the way for Online Payments. You’ll be able to specify if Financial Items should belong to different accounts like “Campus Activity Fund” or “Booster Account”. Hopefully this keeps you and the campus bookkeeper on good terms!
Financial Payments: You’ll notice two new filters in the Financial Payments table: payment type and date range. We hope these filters make it easier to quickly find the data you need!
Credit Transfers have arrived. You can transfer a credit between two family members now. If Johnny overpaid by $20.00 and hasn’t used that credit yet, you can transfer the credit to a family member. That credit will be available for a director to apply the credit to a fee.
To create a credit transfer, go to the detail view of a credit that has an amount remaining. Near the bottom of the page, you’ll see an action item titled “Transfer credit” if the credit has an amount remaining.
Items Needing Attention
The Dashboard is sporting a new section called Items Needing Attention. This is meant to highlight tasks that need to be completed.
If you have any Financial Items or Financial Credits without a Financial Account, we show links to those pages so you can update the data. Right now, these items must be manually updated one-by-one.
In the upper right portion of your Presto Assistant view, you’ll notice two icons next to the Profile Menu button. Use the Profile menu to see Profile settings, switch organizations, join a new organization, or sign out.
The Settings menu links to “settings” for your district and organization. From this menu, you can also adjust the sizing of all table data in the app by toggling between “Comfortable” and “Compact”. If you want to see more data on your screen all at once, choose “Compact” here.
The Help menu has links to the support site, this Release Notes page, and the in-app Feedback form.
District Administrators and Assistants can tell the Presto system to create Custom Barcodes starting at a certain number. These serialized barcodes can help you add new inventory items that are in line with your current barcode system. To find this feature, press the gear icon in the inventory table.
Buckle up tight, we’ve been busy!
The Presto support site continues to grow. Check out some articles HERE!
The student view now includes their inventory checkouts.
All Presto users can update their password from the Profile Settings page. If you were using the “Forgot Password” workflow, that still works, too!
Uniform data pages now show any Custom Barcode data that your district or organization has provided.
Submitting feedback had a couple of issues, but that’s all fixed up. We appreciate all of your feedback!
Library items can be assigned half grade levels now. You can finally categorize that grade 2.5 literature!
District users can sort inventory by Custom Barcode. The Presto system’s barcode data is a mix of letters and numbers, so the sort will treat all numbers like words (e.g. 99 will appear after 10000, because 9 is greater than 1). We think it can still be helpful.
Stripe payments were showing in the app as “pending” even though they were successful. All fixed up now. Your members will see the correct Stripe statuses pretty quickly moving forward.
Online payments have been rolling out slowly to some campuses. Let us know if you want to be next to set up online payments through Stripe!
As we push into 2022, we bring good news — signing up for all types of Presto users is much simpler. Also, we have been busy updating and fixing small things here and there. We hope you’ll stop by and say hello at TMEA in booth 2359! Let’s learn more about recent updates…
Sign Up Improvements
We reworked the entire experience of creating an organization or district. Also, the new interface makes it quicker than ever to get your new Presto group started! You can learn more about creating Presto Assistant accounts in the following support articles:
Any Presto user who is in a district or organization is a “member” of that organization. Students and Parents can be added by the directors or can join on their own. Significant effort went into rethinking how we handle “membership”. Now you can have multiple members with the same email. Are there family members who share an email? No problem!
Director invites students and parents
When you are ready for your students and parents to join, send a Welcome Email to the entire organization (learn how). The Welcome Email contains a Member Claim Code the student or parent will use to accept your invitation to sign in and begin using Presto.
Share this support article with any students and parents joining with a Member Claim Code:
Students and parents ask to join using an Organization Code
If you decide to let students or parents join your group with your Organization code, they can set up their own user profile and ask you for permission to be a member in your organization. When students and parents join in this way, look for a new card on the director Dashboard called “Pending Members”. This interface will allow you to approve or reject any member asking to be in your organization.
Share this support article with any students and parents joining with an Organization Code:
Assistant Directors, Staff Members, and District Assistants
Inviting your co-workers works exactly like when students or parents join an organization. Assistant Directors and staff members can be invited to an organization, and District Assistants can be invited to a district.
Provide the following support article links to your staff members when you invite them to join your Presto Assistant organization or district:
We now support a true/false value for eligibility for student data. You can add this to a single student or when importing many students’ data.
The students table sports a new filter to see Eligibility at a glance.
We updated our email infrastructure to handle attachments and sending emails in a more efficient way. You can still send more than one attachment as long as you keep the total under 10MB — people love this feature!
Also, if you send all of your members a “Financial Statement” from the Dashboard or the Financial Overview page, that job will be done much faster than it used to be. We love making small improvements that save you time!
Screen Real Estate
If you need more room to view your data in Presto, you got it! We removed the maximum-width constraint, so you can make your screen as wide as you need to see all of your data.
On the opposite side, we made some tiny touch-ups to the mobile screen experience. If you are using Presto on-the-go, you can still get your work done!
Other Fixes and Improvements
Our support site continues to grow. Read some articles HERE!
You can add a group with zero members now. It’s helpful since a group needs to exist before you import members into it.
Director and Parent data has a “shirtSize” now, just in case you need to pass out this year’s shirt to everyone.
Add a payment from a financial item page or the financial items table. Saves time!
For adults, Gender and Date of Birth are optional now when setting up the user profile for the first time.
Admin items in the Profile menu now show the district name.
Look below the Students and Parents tables to see a link to the Inactive Users table. If you have removed someone from your program, they go to the Inactive Users table.
A Presto director pointed out a visual bug with credits when adding a payment for a member. All data was working correctly, but the visual issue is corrected.
Online payments are nearing completion. We hope to launch them before TMEA in mid-February.
The busy-ness of December is almost upon us. Take a moment to catch up on several fixins around the Presto Assistant web application in the last couple of weeks. Some of these changes earned us the title of “Game Changer” from a happy Presto user! 🙌
People Picker Improvements
All of the People Pickers that pop up from the bottom of the screen now allow “Select All” functionality. Check it out in these spots around the Presto app:
Sending statements from the Financial Overview page
Selecting a user to assign an inventory item or uniform
Assigning fees to members
Sending a new email to recipients
Creating or editing a group
The order for inventory fields for the Directors and District Administrators now matches better on the forms, tables, CSV template, and exports. This should make it easier to deal with the data related to organizing your program’s physical inventory.
Also, when importing inventory items, you no longer need to provide quality or condition data. Totally optional. What a time-saver!
Expanded District Admin View
District Administrators can see more information for the organizations in their district. No need to jump into the organization view to see the address of the school, etc.
Also, the District Assistants table is moved to its own page. Need to add a new District Assistant? Easy! Add the first name, last name, and email, and that will send an invite over to that person. Reminder: the District Assistant users have the same godlike privileges as the District Administrator. Have fun!
Lastly, a District Administrator who uses the “Switch to Organization” feature will now see the correct side navigation items when viewing the organization. By the way, this feature lets a District Administrator act as themselves while viewing an organization. Another way Presto Assistant makes things easier!
Other Gender Information
A theater teacher recently asked us if we could add a write-in field for other genders. Done! Now any member in your organization can select “Other” for their gender and optionally enter their specific gender.
Odds and Ends
The support site is sporting several new articles. Check them out HERE!
The Dashboard’s Calendar preview events were sometimes off by one day. We fixed it.
We repaired an issue with a potential date of birth error in the Join form. We apologize if you saw a dreaded infinite loop while joining an organization.
Small bug fixed where editing a group could result in a “not found” page.
We sorted your organizations by alphabetical order in the Profile menu. This will likely make it easier to switch between organizations, especially if you belong to many of them.
When uploading CSV data, we added yet another loading spinner to help you know something is happening behind the scenes.
We are building some “under the hood” changes to make membership in multiple organizations work more smoothly. Our code mechanics are working hard to get those changes out during this merry holiday season! 🎄 ⛄️
We recently launched our new support site (link) . We hope that the content will help users in understanding how to use some features of Presto. Also, we have been knocking out some smaller issues here and there. (Some big features are dropping soon, too. 👀) Let’s explore more!
Support Site Goes Live
Our support site went live on Tuesday, 11/2/2021. There are already a handful of helpful articles with more to come soon.
All articles have a tag that pertains to their category (look for the hashtag #). Most articles will include an estimated time for completing the task. We show both “Quick” and “Detailed” steps to complete the task for most articles.
Clicking on a tag in an article will show all articles for that tag. We hope this allows our customers to explore the site and learn about Presto’s unique features.
All support articles will feature images with hot pink highlights. If you prefer a “click sheet” approach to learning how to use Presto, then you can follow the HOT PINK guides in the images.
You can reach the support site by bookmarking this link or by clicking on the link in the footer of the main Presto web site. Soon we will link many parts of the Presto app to a pertinent support article for a quick guide to using the app.
Director can switch a parent and student role
Sometimes a student or parent uses the “Join Page” to sign up for your organization. If they used the wrong student or parent role, you now have a way to flip the role back.
At the bottom of the user’s “Details” page is the DANGER ZONE. Here you can “delete” a user (which moves them to the inactive users table). You can also switch a parent to a student or vice versa. Presto will show a confirmation dialog to double-check that you didn’t press the button on accident, too.
Here are several other smaller improvements from the last month or so:
Export full student report on the Students table had a hiccup, but that’s fixed now.
In some circumstances attachments weren’t sticking to emails going out. Bug squashed.
We have been removing inventory “quantity” around the app. Most people are not using it, and it can be confusing when managing inventory. It’s mostly gone from all places now.
The Student and Parent “My Payments” table now shows “Amount Applied” and “Amount Remaining”.
Students and Parents will now see a “My Financial Overview” dashboard card.
The Payments table for all users now shows “Overpayment”, “Amount Applied”, “Credit Applied”
A user reported a small issue where you couldn’t update a student’s data if the “State” value changed to an empty value. Fixed now!
Cool weather won’t slow us down, the hits keep on coming! Learn more about recent improvements to adding student data to Presto Assistant below.
Entering Student Data
With this week’s enhancements, it’s even easier to add data for your organization’s members.
There are two ways students and parents can get into a Presto Assistant organization:
Directors upload student and parent information and then send a “Welcome Email”
Using the Join Page, students and parents can join your organization using your organization code.
Let’s look at these in detail to learn about some ways we made it better.
Important: Each student and parent in your Presto Assistant organization must have a unique email address. Every student or parent will be able to sign in with their own Presto view.
OPTION 1 - Director Adds Data
You gather the spreadsheets and exports from older tools. You download the template from the Students table in Presto. Now you are ready to import the student and parent data in one file into Presto Assistant. Using the import method will create user profiles for the organization members, both parents and students. It will also as link student/parent relationships if you included parent data on the student rows.
Now the import process will be much more forgiving with the names of the column headers. If you have a column of firstName data, you can now send in something resembling the correct column header like FirstName or even FiRsT NaME. We hope it keeps directors moving faster on their way through a busy day!
Important: If you added student and parent data using OPTION 1, these student and parent members already have user profiles and have “joined” your organization. They will never need to use the Join Page in OPTION 2 below for your organization.
Students and parents will not be able to sign in until you send out a “Welcome Email” to them. You can send the “Welcome Email” to all members in the Organization Settings area or to individual members on their details pages. The “Welcome Email” is how the Presto system helps to make sure the members all have a working email address. The “Welcome Email” has a button that the parents and students will click to verify their email. The button link is good for a one-time use, and it expires 48 hours after sending the email, another security feature of the Presto system.
OPTION 2 - Students/Parents Join
We recently heard from a choir director that his class used the Join Page to join his Presto organization in five minutes. We designed this option to make joining that easy!
The Join option asks parents and students to enter your organization code and some basic information. This form will check their email first to make sure it’s available (meaning no other Presto user already has that email address). After entering valid information and submitting the form, the Presto system will create the new user profile and add the user to your organization.
Important: If you added student and parent data by using OPTION 1 above (importing the data), your students and parents already have user profiles and have “joined” your organization. They will never need to use the Join Page for your organization.
When a student or parent enters the Organization Code, the Join Page will show a helpful tip to make sure they don’t already have a “Welcome Email” from their director.
Now the Join Page will show a confirmation dialog to double-check that the person’s email is correct. This helps to make sure they are joining the correct Presto organization as a student or parent.
If a parent or student sees the red error message “Email unavailable” under the email input, they usually already have a user profile in Presto. This user might have joined a different organization in your school or they might have been in a Presto organization in a previous school year. If they see the “Email unavailable” red error message and you expect them to use the Join Page to join your organization, they can sign in to Presto and join your organization from the Profile menu in the upper right corner. When they press the ”+ Join Organization” option pictured below, they can enter the organization code.
Whether a parent or student is added from the Join Page or director import, they will always receive an email to verify that the email is working. The Welcome Email will arrive if the director has invited the member. The Verify Email will arrive if they have joined the organization themselves. Both versions of the email work the same way.
The purple button that reads “Verify and Continue” contains a link that is good for only 48 hours and can be used one time. This is a security feature in Presto Assistant that you won’t find in other fine arts management apps. If a member sees the Link Expired page (pictured below) with the Sad Cat, they can click the “Get a New Link” button to receive a new email. The Presto system will send the new email to the same email address they used before.
We built a way to show directors which emails are not getting through to students and parents. On the Email page, an alert will show if bounced emails are detected by our system. A bounced email means that the system has attempted to deliver the email, but it did not succeed for some reason. Many times this happens because of a typo in the email or a school district’s firewall is blocking Presto Assistant emails — an easy fix for your district’s IT department!
When you press the “Manage” button pictured above, you will arrive at the Bounced Emails Table. From here, you can see a reason for the bounced email. You can “Remove bounced email” (pictured below) from each row to make the system attempt to send emails to that student or parent again.
Create an Organization or District
Directors or Assistant Directors use the Create Page to create an organization. Also, District Administrators can use the page to create a new Presto Assistant District. The page recently had a bit of a makeover to make it more clear that a person is creating one of these two types of entities. It’s easy to start up the 30-day free trial in a couple of minutes!
The Create Page will also show a confirmation dialog to double-check that the person’s email is correct and that they are creating the correct type of Presto organization or district.
Other Fixes and Updates
The “Keep me signed in” checkbox on the login page was a bit quirky. It’s working as expected now.
The Join/Create pages added a button in the password fields to show the password.
A District Administrator can use the “Switch to Organization” button to interact as themselves while viewing an organization. There was a hiccup, but that is working fine now.
Fixed an issue where a director who joined another organization as a parent could get stuck in Onboarding.
More updates are right around the corner. Stay tuned!
Have a question?
Please contact Presto support with any questions, issues, or suggestions!
October 6, 2021
Edit Payments and Download Statements
One glance at a social media feed is all you need to know we are in BANDTOBER. Welcome to the cool weather and the choreography rehearsals! Today we have some spicy treats for you around the finances area along with several other improvements. Let’s get it started!
Download Financial Statements
Directors asked for a way to hand out financial statements to students. We listened and built it! (Good customer service is good!) Now you can download detailed financial statements for every student in your organization.
From the Financial Overview page, you can choose to download all students at once or choose individal students.
On each member’s details page, you can also download a statement to print for that one individual.
Here’s a sneak peek at what a financial statement might look like. Send over your feedback about anything else you would like to see on the statement, too!
Edit Payments and Credits
You were entering a payment and hit one too many zeroes. It happens. Now, you can go back and edit that payment!
Any user with permision to edit finances can now edit payments and credits for members in the organization. To start editing a payment, head over to the details page for any financial payment or credit. Next, press the edit icon or the button that reads “Edit” on the upper right. Fill out the edit form and submit, and you will be asked to confirm your changes before fully submitting the data again.
It’s a really good idea to add a note about the reason for any updates to payments and credits, too. Presto Assistant keeps an audit log for all items which are always accessible from the bottom of the details page. #Transparency
People Picker Overhaul
Sometimes a small change can make (say it with me) “all the difference in the world!” When you are drafting a new email, you can now easily select ALL on all pages for whatever data set you are viewing. This makes it simple to email every adult and student all at once. Or you can select the “Colorguard” group and view the 9th graders to send only an email to those members.
Also, the People Picker table to choose email recipients now remembers your page size which can help improve your workflow. Over the next several weeks more tables in the app will be getting the same “Select All” functionality.
Other Fixes and Updates
Fixed a potential error with the credit card expiration date when entering a payment.
Overall improvements to the logic around creating payments and credits and how they display in the Overview page.
All financial numbers will now exclude any member who is removed from the program. Those individuals are “inactive” and their data won’t show up for financial numbers now.
The payment form now has an “Other” payment type.
We made the form adding a relationship a bit easier to use with more text to explain what each step means.
The Create organization/district form (near the login page) is easier to understand. We hope this keeps students from creating organizations on accident!
The email editor now has spell-check and improved paste formatting to keep things looking as similar as we can to wherever you are pasting from. Woot!
Parents with permissions to “write payments” will be able to add credits now.
Financial tables (items, fees, payments, credits) allow exporting of the data.
We stopped showing an error to parent helpers viewing a student’s page when they don’t have permission to read finances data.
All of the parent and director edit pages will now show the option to “Remove User” from the program.
Dang, we’ve been BUSY!
Please contact Presto support with any questions, issues, or suggestions!
September 19, 2021
Finances Overview and Statements
The sights and sounds of high school football games and marching contests are back! Presto Assistant updates this week give directors a much better picture of their finances program-wide. Wondering how much money is due for all fees? We got you covered! Need to send statements to all members? You can do it! Dig in to learn more.
A new dashboard card shows the total of all fees currently owed to the program. You can send out a statement to all organization members directly from the card, too.
The side navigation bar now has an “Overview” option. This new view shows a snapshot of the financial health of the program right now.
The following cards live on this new Overview page:
Total Outstanding Fees
Academic YTD Totals
Total Available Member Credit
Items with Highest Balance
Members with Highest Balance
Payments Received by Date
We hope this helps your staff stay on top of finances and start to notice trends about when payments come in to the program. Let us know how this new feature works for you!
Financial statements in past might have been tough to read for students and parents. No more! In Presto Assistant, directors can now send a Financial Statement to all members. To keep it simple, this statement clearly shows what is owed and lists all current fees assigned for the member. You can add a note to the statement with any additional information needed like where to turn in payments, etc. The statement contains a link to the payments page in the Presto Assistant web app so the student or parent can check up on past payments.
The Member Details page for any user provides a quick spot to send a financial statement to a single member of your program. In this area you can also see fees assigned and their remaining balance.
Add a Single Financial Credit
Some directors have asked for a way to bring over a “credit” amount for a member from a previous school year. Now they have it. This release adds a way to manually add a “Credit” amount for a member in your organization. Select a member, enter the amount, and add a note about the reason for adding this credit for this member.
Did you notice we have added several “confirmation dialogs” like this in the finances area? It’s one more chance to double-check your work before adding financial information into the Presto system. We hope that this prevents any accidental data entry errors since most of the financial information cannot be edited.
Other Fixes and Updates
The financial fees table has a filter by financial item.
Starting a new email just got easier. On any “people” table, you can send an email from the “More actions” button at the end of each row. Try it!
When you are are writing a new email in Presto, adding more recipients to the email will correctly show the current recipients in the People Picker.
Cooler weather is rolling in along with those Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Check out this handful of updates to various parts of the Presto Assistant system while enjoying the early autumn weather.
More Payments Data
This week we add “Date Paid” and “Notes” to both sides of the Payments area. Many times a staff member enters payment information into Presto later than the actual date of receiving the payment. It’s wise to keep that data clear so all parties involved can have better records.
Did you know that Presto Assistant automatically emails a receipt when you enter payments? Students under 13 without parental authorization to use Presto Assistant will not receive emails. Their parents will receive emails on their behalf. Also, emails go directly to the person, no BCC ever.
Now the emailed payment receipt shows more data: Date Paid, Notes, and better payment information about the details for cash/check/credit card.
Financial Credits Table
When a member of the organization overpays for any fees, the Presto Assistant system will create a “Credit” amount for that user. These credit amounts can be applied to any payment. The new Financial Credits table will show a list of all members with a credit from overpaying fees.
Note: a single member might have multiple credit amounts listed from overpaying different payments. To make everything as clear as possible, all credit amounts are always listed separately.
Another enhancement coming soon will be the ability to add a credit for a member manually which could be helpful if you are bringing data from another system to Presto Assistant.
Parent Permissions for Users/Groups
If you have parents willing and able to help out, then that’s super! They now have the ability to see Users and Groups as expected. Please note, since “groups” are comprised of “users”, it’s easiest to add both Users and Groups permissions if you want those helpers to have full access to Groups. We have some more updates coming soon to shore up what parent helpers can see. Give your parents a hardy handshake if they are helping you stay organized!
Deleted Inventory Items
District-level users will see the Deleted Inventory Items table on its own page now. It has most of the same features as its cousin the Inventory table: sort, search, filters, export. You can also click on a row to view details, including the “History” audit near the bottom of the page.
Other Fixes and Updates
Financial Items can no longer be set to “All Years” but only to a certain school year.
Directors will see the name and email for any District Assistants in the Settings area. It’s good to have a quick way to contact those VIPs!
Uploading a file to the Files part of the app just got better — the file size limit is now set to 25MB. Also, we now display the file size in the table in a more predictable way.
If you remove a member from your organization, the Dashboard metrics will now update accordingly. No reason to refresh your browser.
Team Presto constantly monitors errors in the application. Some of this week’s updates behind the scenes improve our ability to see more errors that might be preventing a Presto user from having a terrific experience. As always, get in touch if part of the app behaves differently than you expect. We love to hear from our users!
Happy to help
Please contact Presto support with any questions, concerns, or tips on brewing coffee — it’s what powers our team!
September 6, 2021
Finances Updates and Other Fixes
As more districts and organizations use Presto Assistant, we get great feedback about what’s working well and what needs attention. We send a big “THANK YOU!” to all of our users who have reached out with feedback. That helps us make Presto Assistant better for everyone! Now, on to the recent updates…
Financial Payments by Item
We have several additions to the Finances module in the works. This time around we introduce the ability to add payments by item. Now when you start to add a payment, you will be asked to choose whether to add by Person or by Item. If you select Item, then you see a brand new interface where you can add as many rows as you need while entering payments.
This update also introduces the concept of credit for any organization member. If you enter an overpayment for a user, then the Presto system will automatically create a credit for that user. Managing the details of credits and refunds will also be available soon.
Here’s how it works:
When you press the ”+ Payment” button, you can add payments by Person or by Item. Choose ”+ Item” and keep following along.
Select an item
Search for a user in your organization by typing a name or email in the input. You will see organization members who have been assigned a fee for the item. Members with no remaining balance will be greyed out.
Select a payment type, either cash, check, or credit card.
All of the rows in this table scroll left-to-right. You can enter extra payment information for check or credit card near the end of the row.
Payment by Item — Each row scrolls left-to-right
Enter the payment amount and/or apply any credit for the member.
If the organization member’s payment is more than the remaining balance of the fee, the Presto Assistant system will create a credit. In the image below, you can see that this user has previously paid too much. They have a $3 credit that can be applied to any outstanding fee.
Optional: enter a note. Notes can be used for many things such as keeping track of split payments for parents paying for two children in the program.
Add more rows and enter all of your data in one sitting. Press the purple plus sign button on the left side of a new row to start entering more data.
Reminder: Presto Assistant will sign you out automatically after a bit, after a warning appears with a countdown. Make sure you save your work often. The app will return you to the same page you were on when you sign back in, but the data you entered will be gone.
When you are done adding the payments, we pop up a confirmation dialog to double-check your work. For transparency, the system does not allow editing or deleting payments once the payments are saved. The upcoming “Financial Credits” feature will allow better control to adjust any wayward entries.
This flexible method of adding payment data has many options. We hope it helps directors move faster in getting payments into the Presto Assistant system!
Warning for Duplicate Fees
Adding fees in Presto just got better. Now, you will be warned if you are adding a duplicate fee for a member in your organization. Sometimes this is on purpose — if you meant to duplicate the fee, then press the purple “Yes, Add Fee” button.
If you didn’t mean to assign the fee more than once, remove the members and proceed. Easy!
Export Full Inventory Report
District Administrators and Directors can now export all inventory information in the Inventory table. This exported report will honor filters and search that you have applied, too. Click on the “More actions” three-dot icon button on the Inventory table to find this useful report.
Student Uniform Checkouts
Are students wondering which uniforms parts they have checked out? Now they can see that information! Uniform Checkout information is available in their view. We are adding a bit more information to the Student/Parent view every couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more soon.
Various Fixes and Updates
Assistant Directors can now do nearly everything in the organization just like the person who created the Presto organization.
All organization members now have “Shirt size” added to the the Add/Edit forms. Coming soon to the import area, too!
Parent helpers with “Finances” and “Payments” permissions will see the correct parts of the app now. Some more updates are coming for permissions soon, too. Thank goodness for the wonderful parents helping out!
We have some defenses to prevent malicious attacks against our Presto Assistant app. One of those defenses locked out some directors and students on accident. Sorry about that! After some tweaks to our castle walls, the correct users are allowed to sign in when they need to.
The Student details page was getting a bit long. Now the layout will split to two columns on a larger screen.
You can once again add a member from a previous school year to your organization. Some people were stuck on the “Verify email” step. Fixed!
New searches available in the Inventory Items table: lock, lock numbers, and combination
Emails are being sent out correctly again when directors added relationships between organization members.
Students table now has a 5th grade filter.
Some programs that sync with Google Calendar have been seeing an error to “Resync” with Google. We made updates to this area for a possible fix, but we will continue to monitor errors related to this connection to Google.
Importing uniforms will work correctly with the default uniform categories now.
Lots more fixes to help Team Presto see more instances where bugs might occur. This lead to removing many annoying “error” messages users were seeing when entering data with extra spaces at the end. We continue to monitor for more annoying bugs to help you have a better day.
School is back, and features/fixes keep on rolling out. Learn more about recent Presto Assistant updates!
Now directors can create a relationship link between any two organization members. We already offer adding parent relationships as part of importing new/updated student data, but now you can manage it from any parent or student details page.
Also, the relationships include more options like siblings, step-parents, aunt/uncle, etc. We hope that this level of control helps get your data exactly where you want it.
Parent Authorization for Students Under 13 Years Old
We have always worked hard to stay in line with the federal COPPA laws regarding younger children using web sites. Right now students who are under 13 years old cannot sign in to the Presto Assistant web app unless we have authorization from their parent. This update adds a way for a parent to go to the “Settings” area and authorize their child under 13 to be able to use Presto. When this permission is granted by a parent, then their student under 13 will be able to sign in to use Presto.
We are doing our part to keep children safe online and also to be transparent with how we handle data. If you or a parent ever has a question about our policies, please send us an email.
Student Full Report
Reports are a big deal. We know it. You know it. As we work on expanding reporting features throughout the app, the first spot to get more work is student data.
Now you can apply a search or a filter and export ALL of the data for that set of results, not just what you see in the table view. Try it and tell us how you like it!
Default Uniform Categories
For all organization types (that’s band, choir, dance, orchestra, and theater), we have added default uniform category type values of Dress, Jacket, and Pants. You can still add your own, if needed, but hopefully the new uniform category defaults will get you started.
Acceptable Use Policy Agreement
If you haven’t signed in for a while, you’ll be greeted with a new “Onboarding” step. We expect that all organizations and districts will include details about Presto Assistant in your district’s version of an “Acceptable Use Policy” that is presented to the parents and students of the district. Our “Acceptable Use Policy Agreement” (link) can be used to present to your district’s security/privacy teams or the parents in your program.
Please let us know if you need more details and send anyone in your district our way if they have questions!
Other Fixes and Updates
Directors can add student data to Presto Assistant without a “Date of birth”. The first time the student signs in they will be prompted to add their own “Date of birth” to help fill out your data completely.
Inventory comments can now go up to 1000 characters. Some of y’all have a lot of comments!
We found an issue when editing a uniform checkout without a “Due date”. It didn’t work. Errors are gone now. Due date is still optional!
Fixed an issue when sorting the Inventory table by Checked Out To. All better!
Happy to help
Feel free to contact Presto support with any questions about these features or anything else!
August 11, 2021
"End of Summer" Roundup
Summer is closing out, but new features and fixes in Presto are far from over. In the last week our team has added several improvements to allow directors to move faster through the Presto Assistant app.
Import Student Updates
Directors now have two options for getting student data into the Presto Assistant system:
Import New Students
Import Student Updates
Both features are found in the upper right corner of the “Students” table. They both have the same easy-to-use template with the same column headers.
The Import New Students feature works as you would expect, import data and the students are created, their data added, parents added, relationships created, etc.
The Import Student Updates feature is a bit different. This can be used to send updated data for any student that you already have in your Presto organization. Remember that the email is the unique identifier for each student, so each student’s email must be the same as what is in your data already when using this “update” import.
The update feature is handy if you entered student data at first without addresses or student IDs (or anything else besides email). If you update your CSV file, and then send that file into the Import Student Updates interface, the student data will be updated for you. Huge time-saver!
Custom Uniform Categories
Now directors can add custom uniform categories. We looked at the data, and many programs were using “Dynamic Fields” as a stand in for categories. We updated our data to match how the Presto users needed to make it work!
In the add or edit forms for uniforms, directors can make new uniform categories. Near the top of the form, there is a link that reads “Add Uniform Category” (pictured below). This will allow a director to add different categories for use in their organization.
Search when Picking People
When you see the friendly popup full of organization members coming from the bottom of the screen, we call that the “People Picker”. We enabled “search” in the upper right corner for directors to find their people more quickly!
Bonus round: we made the table filters look slightly different all around the Presto app and moved them to their own row. This is helpful if you are on a small device doing “Presto work” on the go.
Other Fixes and Updates
If a student or parent email address is changed, Presto will keep the relationships in order.
Directors can no longer create duplicate inventory categories…that could be confusing!
Parents with permissions to “Email Members” and use “Uniforms/Uniform Checkouts” will see correct data.
You can create groups with shorter names now. If you have an “Oboe” or “Uke” group, rejoice!
In the Inventory table, we now show “Case #” instead of “Date Purchased”.
If you have a Google Calendar sync, we now show start AND end times. Rehearsals don’t last forever!
When you click on a Files table row, the details for that file are a bit easier on the eyes now.
We squashed a bug where clicking on an inventory checkout would create havoc. All better now.
A director adding a new item around the Presto app would see the “edit” icon (the cute little pencil). Well, you cannot edit something that hasn’t been added yet, so those edit icon buttons are removed. You can still edit items around the app from the “details” pages (if you have the proper permissions, of course).
We’re eager to please
Feel free to contact Presto support with any questions about these features or anything else!
August 2, 2021
Uniform Barcode Checkout and Custom Inventory Categories
We had fun making this one — scanning barcodes for uniform checkouts, custom inventory categories, and more!
Check Out Uniforms More Quickly
If you have your uniform barcodes entered in the Presto system, your checkout process just got faster.
A director can click on the “Add uniform checkout” action in any row in the Students table.
1a. Directors can also get to the “Barcode Scan” page from the Student details page if they click on a student’s row in the same table.
If the director has the uniform parts ready for checkout, they can scan a uniform part on the “Barcode Scan” page. Make sure the page reads “Ready to scan garment”. This action will assign the parts to the selected student in real time.
Finished with the student’s checkout? Press the purple “All Done” button on the bottom right to return to the Students table. The next student in line can get their uniform checkout started after that.
Here is the scanning in motion at Presto HQ. Notice that if a director clicks away, they will be asked to click the “big purple button”. This gets the page back into “ready to scan” mode again. It’s pretty fun to use!
Scan uniform checkout - In motion
We think this feature will save time for teachers and parent volunteers. Now there’s more time for the music and teaching parts!
Custom Inventory Categories
It’s finally here. You can add custom inventory categories.
Story time: A university band director mentioned that their program has to distinguish between categories like Brass and Marching Brass. He asked if we could add a way to create their own categories. A couple of hours later it was ready! (It only took so long because we needed to eat lunch!)
Directors can head over to the add or edit forms for inventory. There they will see a link that reads “Add Inventory Category” (pictured below). This will allow a director to add different categories for use in their organization.
The uniform checkout “Due date” is now optional.
In the Payments table directors can filter by “Financial item”.
If your district has purchased a Presto Assistant license, an assistant director can now redeem a license for your organization.
Our Presto users have sent in some terrific ideas, y’all! Our most recent changes grant a district administrator almost unlimited power and expand checked-out search. Check it out below!
District Administrators gain new powers
Sometimes the people in the Fine Arts Office need to jump in to make a change, like activate a license code or upload inventory items. Now a District Administrator or District Assistant can jump into any organization as themselves and make any changes.
The audit logs will show the correct user name, too. If the DFA “Jane Smith” updates an inventory item, the audit logs will show that Jane Smith made the update.
District Administrator - Full-access privileges
To quote a District Administrator when we told him this was ready this morning:
“Oh my gosh…this is a game changer!”
If you have checked out inventory or uniforms to students, now you can search for the items by the student’s:
Workplace productivity is improving!
Feel free to contact Presto support to get questions answered this very day!
July 27, 2021
Student Filters and Other Summer Fun
Team Presto recently returned from the TBA/TCDA/TODA 2021 Summer Conventions in San Antonio. Our exhibit booth had frequent visitors, and we heard lots of great feedback from current Presto users.
Some of the feedback was so good that we jumped right on updates. Keep scrolling to find out what happened next!
An intrepid high school band director mentioned to us that the Students table would be easier to use with filters on it. He correctly pointed out that a few other areas of the app have this ability. He was right, so we added the filters right there during the convention!
Directors can now filter the Students table by:
Searching the students table will work better, too. Search by first last or last first (with the space). This update is useful if you have many students with the same first or last name.
Remember how you can send out a “Welcome Email” to all members in the organization all at once? That’s a nice feature to jump start your organization’s members all at once.
Today’s update will allow you to send the “Welcome Email” to all members again, but now only the students and parents who never logged in will receive the email.
Other Summer Fun
When adding or editing a single inventory item, brand and model are no longer required. We hope this helps get inventory into the system more quickly.
Assistant directors are now allowed to edit the organization info over in Settings. They can update the organization code and other such information. They are having a great summer, aren’t they?
We’ll see more of you in person at TMEA 2022 soon, we hope. Drink plenty of water, high school band directors!
Email a friend
Feel free to contact Presto support to get questions answered in a flash!
July 20, 2021
Improved Financial Payments Flow and more
As we are preparing to head to the Southwest Music Summer Exhibition (a.k.a. TBA/TCDA/TODA), we have a slate of adjustments and fixes coming your way. Come visit us in booth 127 in the exhibit hall if you are in San Antonio!
Lots of changes in here. We’ve been working!
Financial Payments Workflow Update
A director who needs to add multiple payments back-to-back has an improved workflow.
Add from students table
In the students data table, you can now select the “Add payment” option from any row’s “More Actions” menu.
Payment details page enhancement
The payment details page presents information more succinctly now. This view has two important updates:
A handy “Add a new payment” button to enter another payment for the student
A history view at the bottom of the page. (The “history” will be more useful with the upcoming ability to “edit” a payment.)
A director can move more quickly through entering payments for students with this updated workflow:
Start by adding a payment for a student from the “students” table or the “payments” table.
After completing the “New payment” form, you will see the payment details view.
If you need to enter another payment for the same student, tap on the “Add a new payment” button.
Various Import Updates
Inventory import has a new column checkedOutToEmailAddress to link an inventory item checkout directly to a student. Use the handy template and you’ll see the new column.
Importing students with parent data will return better error messages now.
Reminder: all Presto Assistant users (students, parents, directors) should have a unique email address.
Every so often we need to make some internal adjustments to keep the enterprise running smoothly. If we need to take the web app offline, then a visitor will see this handy page. We’ll try to be quick!
Other Fixes and Adjustments
Adding a file works great. However, the start and end date that members could view a file was off by one day. We fixed that.
When adding or editing a library item, the “library category” now appears above the “title” text field.
For a director adding or editing a single student, the gender and grade text fields are now optional.
Permissions for finances are separated a bit more now. The finances permission refers to the “financial items” and “financial fees”. The payments permission refers to only the “financial payments” area of the app.
We fixed an issue where updating a student’s “Student ID” and “Grade” would not show the change immediately after the update.
Middle school organizations can now see “5th grade” as a grade option for students. This could be helpful when adding beginner students for the upcoming school year.
District Administrators get more goodies today. We see you working all summer, just like Team Presto!
District Admin Uniforms and Library
The Uniforms and Library areas have the same useful features as the inventory table:
Sort by column header
Apply filters to see only some of the data
Search to show very specific results
Import data by organization type
Export a “report” of the current view of the table
The Library area also allows a District Admin to add a “Library Category” for an organization. This feature is tucked away in the New/Edit form — select an organization, and then you will see the “Add Library Category” link near the bottom.
Dynamic Fields are also available for Uniforms and Library items. Don’t see a way to update the “sash” for your uniforms? The District Admin users can add any custom field to make it available to a certain organization type.
Expansion to Student Import
Directors can now add two optional columns to student imports to make workflows a little smoother:
Viewing or updating an uploaded file in the “Files” area was making an ugly error. That’s fixed now!
Team Presto knows that District Administrators need superb tools. Starting today, the Fine Arts administrators can add inventory items for any organization in their district. We hope that this can help the Fine Arts office move faster!
Distrct Admin Inventory Import
On the Inventory table, a District Admin user can click on the “More Actions” button on the top right, select “Import Inventory”, and start building a CSV file to upload.
Choose the organization type.
Provide a CSV file with the required fields and any of the optional fields.
The main unique identifier for any Presto Assistant organization is the “organizationCode”. A director adds this code when creating the new Presto organization. The organization codes are generally something like oceanside-ms-band or oceansidemsband.
Find the “organizationCode” for any organization by viewing the “details” page — click on any row in the “Organizations” table for that organization’s “details” page. You will see a handy “Copy to clipboard” button next to the “organizationCode”. Copy the code to your CSV file to target the correct organization’s inventory.
Other odds and ends
Directors were not able to update their organization’s info. We found the bug and squashed it.
Some error messages sent to a Presto user were not very helpful. Now the messages should give more clues as to what went wrong.
Some users on a Windows machine could not open an “exported report”. It’s working great now.
Directors and District Administrators asked to have a way to “see what the user sees”, and Team Presto delivers! Now any Director or District Administrator can click on “Become this user” to see Presto Assistant as that user.
No more “adding a fake student” to see that view. We have you covered!
A few more tidbits about “User Alias”:
When viewing Presto Assistant as another user, you will only be able to interact with the app in read-only mode.
The “Viewing in Read-Only Mode” banner at the top indicates you are aliased as another user.
You can press the “Exit” button on the top right to return to your normal Presto view.
Directors can view Presto as students and parents.
District Administrators can view Presto as directors.
District Admin Inventory History
We are on a quest to add “history” to much of the app. Now District Administrators can view the history on the details page for any inventory item in any organization in their district.
All history data persists year-to-year and cannot be edited or deleted. You will always have an exact record of history details for all areas. It’s all about accountability!
Summer’s here! Several small but helpful updates roll out in our mid-June 2021 release.
Add Custom Organization Roles
Directors can now add custom roles for any student. If you have a band “Drum Captain” or an orchestra “Section Leader”, go ahead and add them! When you are adding or updating any student, you can add a new role directly in the form. That new role is available immediately in the drop down.
End of Year Process
We recently added a slick End of Year process to help directors transition their users to the next school year. This process needs to be completed by 6/30 each year. We added a fun reminder to help directors get ready for this transition.
Library Item History
Directors can see the history for any library item now. Click on a row in the library table to bring up the details page. Near the bottom of the page you will find the history for that item.
School Year Filters
If you recently completed the End of Year process, your day just got better! Now any school year drop down or table filter you encounter in Presto Assistant will default to your organization’s current school year.
The process for switching to the next school year isn’t scary with Presto Assistant. Make a few decisions in four steps, and you are off to the next year’s business!
(Presto Assistant will require you to complete the End of Year process by June 30th each year.)
What carries over to each year?
Nearly everything! The only data that Presto will attach to a school year are users (meaning all students, parents, and directors) and groups. All other data like inventory, uniforms, library, email, files, financial items—that’s all for any year. With that out of the way, let’s explore the flow of our End of Year process in Presto Assistant.
Find the card on the Dashboard page for the End of Year Process and press “Begin”.
Step 1 - Outstanding Items
You can quickly see an overview of all checked out inventory items and uniforms and see the total fees owed to the program. Use the “View” buttons to jump to the appropriate area to see more details about the items.
We hope this step helps directors track down any fees or items from students who might be leaving the program.
Step 2 - Members
Two tasks await directors in step 2: updating the “Graduating Grade” and selecting any members not returning next year.
When the entire End of Year process is finished, Presto Assistant will use the “Graduating Grade” you choose to automatically remove those students and their parents for next year. Same thing goes for the “Non-Returning Students”—they will be removed from next year’s roster and parents removed, too.
Step 3 - Groups
In the groups step, you can choose any groups you wish to carry into the next school year. For each group, you can also choose whether to bring forward all of the returning members.
Step 4 - Review
The review step is your chance to make any further updates to the data moving forward to the next school year.
After you push the giant purple button, the app will give you one more chance to think it over. When you push the “Let’s do this” button (pictured below), then your organization will move forward to the next school year with the updated rosters and groups data.
NOTE: All outstanding fees and checked out items will continue into the next school year.
After that, you are off to the races in the new school year. That’s a good chance to add new students, update directors, and adjust the membership in your groups.
All data for prior years still exists in the Presto Assistant database. A future update in this space will allow directors to jump back to a previous year to view the users and groups from that year in a “read-only” mode, meaning no editing of old data will be allowed.
Today’s release brings updates that make the Presto Assistant web application more useful for more people.
Presto Assistant aims for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (link) at the AA level. These guidelines are the standard for making web content more accessible to a broad range of people.
Users can more easily use the web app with only their keyboard.
Improved color contrast for many parts of the app.
Many updates aimed at making screen readers work better with Presto Assistant.
The Presto Assistant “Accessibility Conformance Report” lives here on this website.
Feel free to share the Presto Assistant “Accessibility Conformance Report” (link) with anyone at your school district, college, or university who wants to see how our web application measures against the web’s accessibility standards.
This Finances update adds the ability to add items, fees, and payments. All areas of finances have data tables with handy sorting and searching to help you get to the data you need fast.
When adding a new financial item, a director can choose a specific year and whether or not the new item is “active”. An inactive item cannot be assigned as a fee to students or parents.
A director can also make the item available for all years. This might make sense for many items like woodwind reeds or bow rosin.
Assign an active financial item as a fee to any Presto Assistant user in your organization.
Select a user and add payment, either cash or check. The Presto director can apply the payment to any of the fees for the selected user.
When the payment is added, an email receipt is automatically sent to the student and parents.
Coming Summer 2021
Allow students and parents to make payments online without leaving the app. We rely on Stripe to ensure secure transactions.
When submitting multiple payments, they are grouped together in a single transaction. Presto is keeping track of transactions under the hood. Directors will be able to use it soon.
Presto Assistant already makes it simple to switch between two organizations. No more logging out and logging back in like you are used to in other places.
This minor update adds a bit more information about each organization. If you belong to two organizations named “Texas High School”, then the extra information can help you target the correct one when switching.
Another morsel of updates to inventory and permissions has just arrived. Let’s dig in!
Some great feedback came in about adding timesavers for directors. Round one of this update includes quickly seeing which inventory item is checked out to which student.
Inventory table has a Checked Out To column
The table has a new filter to view either Checkout Status or Unassigned more easily
Both Directors and District Administrators can see this data
View Checkout Data in Inventory Table
Directors can more easily see permissions for any adult (director or parent) in their organization. Click on an adult in the data table to show a detailed view of that person’s data. Any adult can have these permissions added to various parts of the Presto Assistant web app:
Read, Write, Edit, Delete
As long as a director can update the permissions of other users, they can click the “edit” icon button to update any of these permissions.
NOTE: Assistant directors for every organization automatically have all permissions set only to “Read” and “Write”. The lead Director for an organzation or the District Administrators can update those permissions as needed.
In the “Communications” area students can only email the directors of their organization. This was broken — fixed now.
Bug fixes and general updates related to app infrastructure. We like it when boring udpates make everything run more smoothly.
Based on feedback from a theater teacher, we have a great new feature. Reminder: Presto Assistant supports all the fine arts programs!
The dynamic fields feature allows your program to have custom fields on inventory, library items, and uniforms. For example, if your theater program wants to have “time period” as a field on uniforms, this can now be done.
Because some districts may wish to reassign inventory, library items, and uniforms between campuses, these dynamic fields are shared across all organizations in a district, for a given organization type. For example, if a Director of Fine Arts adds the “time period” field to uniforms for theater, all theater organizations in that district will have that field available. Thus, only district administrators have the authority to add and remove dynamic fields.
District Administrators or District Assistants can manage dynamic fields by going here in the Presto web app.
We expect the finances feature to launch in late Spring 2021. We added a placeholder in the web app with that launch date and a brief overview of upcoming “Finances” features.
Permissions are scoped to each organization. If “Jim Smith” has a child in both band and choir, then Jim can have different permissions as a parent for each group. The director of each organization can grant permissions as needed. This is a great way to give access to the “Uniform team”, etc.
District Administrators can edit permissions for any organization’s director. This includes allowing the directors to edit the permissions of other organization members.
Directors can update permissions for any adult in their organization now. Click on a table row on the “Directors” or “Parents” tables to bring up a detailed view of one adult. Scroll down to see the “Edit Permissions” button.
If a director is not seeing an option to edit the permissions of an adult, ask your District Administrator to check if you have permission to edit (see above image).
The table that shows all directors in an organization was improved with better performance and an enhanced “Edit Permissions” action.
Assistant directors would see an error if they attempted to sync Google Calendar. Only the organization creator can sync with Google Calendar, so we removed the ability for assistant directors to sync.
If your free trial or subscription ends, we updated the contact info to send an email to our “billing” email.
Here are a few minor updates in the most recent Presto Assistant release. Meanwhile we are still chugging along on bigger features, too.
A user might select a page size of “250 rows” in our data tables, but we were only showing “100 rows”. Oops! It’s fixed in all tables now.
Sometimes you see a notification pop up in the upper right part of your browser. Now that “toast” notification is visible even if you are in a “dialog” like when importing data.
Onboarding - Profile Info
The “Date of birth” field on this form could be filled in for some users, but they still had to type out their date of birth to proceed. It’s fixed now.
As part of an ongoing update, District Admin users now have a nicer interface when updating permissions for directors in their district’s organizations.
Some users could get into a situation where they were asked to reset their password twice after clicking the “Reset password” link. No more!
Our recent changes that added parent data to each student when importing data was terrific. Also, it made the import slower than we would like. We made some changes and now importing student data should take 1-2 seconds.
Good news – All licenses for Presto Assistant purchased right now are good until the end of June 2022! 💪
How do licenses work?
All Presto users get a free 30-day trial.
When an organization’s Director or the District Administrator decides that Presto Assistant works for them, they can contact Presto billing to purchase licenses.
A license is always purchased by a District and can be given to any organization not currently using a license.
The District Administrator (or a District Assistant) can view a list of purchased licenses in their “Admin” view. That Administrator should provide a one-time-use license code to any organization Director that needs to activate their subscription.
An organization’s Director can redeem a license when signed in to the web application – look in the top left area, this is viewable from all pages in Presto Assistant.
A District Administrator can now see a list of licenses for their district.
A Director for an organization can redeem a license code given by the District Administrator.
This works if the organization has become “inactive”, too, either because the free trial has ended or a 1-year license has ended.
When importing student data, Presto will do a better job at telling a director about any errors.
Keep in mind that all student emails should be different than connected parent emails.
Today’s updates are all about relationships. We are making it easier for directors to connect students with family members. Now you can import student data with parent data to set up the family relationships automatically.
Also, Presto will never duplicate your data. This means you can import your student data many times with updated information (e.g., added parent data on each row) with no worries.
Head over to the “Students” page and click on the “Import students” option in the upper right part of the table to get started adding student data.
We have more Student data import options. Now you can add data for up to two parents on each row.
If you add Parent data for a student, the following fields are available: email, firstName, lastName, phoneNumber (optional)
The relationship between student/parent will be established when you upload parent data.
The “import” option for the Parents area is removed. We suggest adding parent data when importing student data. This is the way.
When you are viewing the “info” page for any person, you can easily see their connected relationships. This quick family view shows family role (e.g., “Parent” or “Child”), email, name, and phone number.
Click on the relationship item to view the “info” page for that person.
February 24, 2021
Importing people just got easier
Special thanks to a valued director using Presto who provided some feedback about importing people data. We listened, planned some changes, wrote code, tested it, and now have all of it ready a 1/2 day later. 🔥
Importing user data just got a lot easier…No need for any more student passwords on imports.
For all types of people data you can import – students, parents, directors – you only need four fields: emailAddress, firstName, lastName, and dateOfBirth. The rest of it can be added later by you or the individual Presto users when they sign in.
There was an issue where clicking on an adult user’s name to see their data might crash the app if they had no gender data. We fixed it right up.
All non-admin users will now see a card on the dashboard showing information about family members – how many connections or how many pending invitations.
All users you add to Presto Assistant will be prompted to change their password the first time they sign in, regardless of whether or not one was provided on import.
We hope this helps to get your data into Presto Assistant faster!
February 21, 2021
Improved details view for physical inventory
The “2021 Texas Blizzard” slowed us down a bit, but we are all safe and sound. Here’s a handful of updates to Presto made during the past week. Hopefully the lights stay on and the internet continues to flow!
Inventory, Uniforms, Library
View the details for single items in these areas with an easier-to-read interface now. Edit buttons are closer within reach. This will help directors move fast and find what they need.
The left navigation menu now groups together all “physical” inventory items – inventory, library, and uniforms.
Now there’s a “show password” icon to help out if needed.
When you tap the submit button, we show you a loading spinner. It’s nice to know that something is happening when you sign in.
We now prevent an error that might occur if you had an extra space after your username or password when signing in.
We like to be consistent, so we now show the organization types options in alphabetical order when a director is creating their organization.
February 13, 2021
Expanded assistant director permissions
TMEA 2021 is winding down, but we are still hard at work improving Presto Assistant for all users.
Thanks to our fancy error-tracking notifications, our engineers noticed an issue with an organization Director adding Assistant Directors. The form to add assistants has better error messaging now.
Assistant Directors will have permission to view and add users, inventory, etc. in the organization. The former way was much more limited. If your assistant directors signed in and couldn’t see much, please ask them to sign in again. 🙏
We release features and improvements often. When we push out those changes, we made some enhancements to make the new features available a bit quicker.
February 11, 2021
Invite your students and parents
Our road to TMEA 2021 includes a handful of updates. Swing by our TMEA booth in the next few days and ask all the questions you can think of!
All members of your organization have to complete an “onboarding” process to set up their own password and update any missing information. We now offer two ways to send out an email to invite organization members to complete this process:
The detail page for any student/parent/director has the option to send the “welcome” email to that one user.
The organization settings page has the option to send the “welcome” email to any user who has not received it yet.
A typical workflow like this might make sense:
Add all of the students and other users
Finish setting up your organization details like Google Calendar, etc
Then send an invite email to everyone when you are ready!
We have re-enabled parent/student sign-in for any organization member who received the “welcome” email mentioned above.
A student could switch themselves to a parent “role” in your organization in the first step of onboarding. We caught it. It is fixed now.
This very page was released! Now anyone can stay informed about the latest Presto Assistant updates.
February 9, 2021
Improvements in importing and more
Based on feedback from Presto users, our engineers have been making the magic happen all week long. Here’s what changed in the last several days:
Some of the date inputs would crash the app if you deleted a value. We found the bug and squashed it.
Resolve an issue where a user’s Google Calendar authentication would expire and cause an error. We now show a way for them to head to Google’s settings to reset the authentication, which allows them to hook up Presto Assistant + Google Calendar again. This should be rare, but now there is guidance if this pops up.
Communication - Email
The interface for adding people to an email has more room (we affectionately call this the People Picker).
You can click anywhere on the “To” area to start adding recipients.
Hover over or tab to any recipient and a pop-up shows with that recipient’s email address. That seems important!
All data tables now support up to 250 rows viewed. The larger organizations thought this was a good idea, and we agreed.
As long as you are using the same browser, your page size for each table will sync up. Switch to 100 inventory items in view, close your browser, open it back up to Presto Assistant, and your inventory table will show 100 rows of data. Voila! This works on all data tables.
Allow a wider format of dates in imported data with leading zeroes, forward slashes, hyphens, and short year — as long as dates are in one of these formats, then all should work as expected:
3/3/21, 03/03/2021, 3-3-21, 03-03-2021,
Improve detection of duplicate custom barcodes.
Quotation marks inside cells would break an import. No longer! Feel free to import Jupiter from “The Planets” all you want.
Viewing the details for any person shows a more concise interface now. Edit buttons are closer within reach. This pattern will soon make its way to other parts of the app. This will help directors move fast and find what they need.
February 1, 2021
Communication and more
After our first “early access” invitees looked around the app, they helped us find a few things to tidy up.
Communication - Email
Emails were being sent out to any created/imported user automatically to help them set up their Presto Assistant user profile. We were not warning the directors that this would happen, so this feature is turned off. Emails will still be sent to other directors added to the program, as that seems like a good use case — inviting co-workers to check out Presto Assistant.
We do feel like the “invite” email is a necessary feature to help a program set up Presto quickly. We plan on implementing a better way to let the director choose when to deploy the “invite” emails to students and parents.
Gender options now include the following options: Male, Female, Other, Prefer Not To Answer
We have disabled student/parent sign in during this early period. We will chat with our early access users about the right time to enable this.
An organization without an associated district (like most brand new Presto Assistant organizations) can view the inventory categories correctly.
Windows users were potentially having problems uploading a CSV file into the system. Not anymore!
The validation of dates and other data is cleaned up more. Fewer ways to break an import of data now.
A few error messages were showing up when a Presto Assistant user did nothing. Oops! Cleaned up now.
We added better error logging behind the scenes. This will help the Presto Assistant team respond more quickly to any critical errors in the app.
January 29, 2021
We have been cooking Presto Assistant in our magical software development oven for a little over two years. It’s ready for some real-world use to get feedback from a handful of users now. This initial release has a little something for everyone.
Don’t see a feature you need? Let us know! We have a large backlog of items we are planning and building for Presto Assistant, so you could help shape what we work on next!
All Fine Arts organizations
Presto Assistant supports Band, Choir, Dance, Orchestra, and Theater out of the box
Levels of education include College/University, High School, Middle School, and Elementary School
Clean and consistent interface throughout using Google’s “Material Design”
Data tables are sortable, searchable, and most have filters to help find the data you need quickly
Students/Parents/Directors/District Admin all have a single Presto Assistant login and can switch between all organizations that they belong to while signed in.
This means a District Administrator can sign in to pay her child’s choir trip fee, and then switch back to the “Admin” view, all in one user session (and same for the OrganizationDirector).
District Administrators can create a District and invite Directors and District Assistants.
Directors can create an Organization and invite District Administrators and assistant Directors.
Students/Parents can join an Organization using the “Organization Code” that the directors set up, and then invite other family members.
All relationships are set up on “approve/deny” model to help ensure that the relationship is valid.
Any user younger than 13 years old must have a parent user associated with their account.
We keep strict records for compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Add and update Directors/Parents/Students
Set up custom groups to quickly deal with a subset of users
E.g., send an email to all “Parent helpers” or all “9th grade All-Region” students
Import data in CSV format using a handy template
Export a “report” of filtered/sorted/searched data in CSV format
District Admin features
Assign District Admin assistants with similar permissions as the Admin
Switch inventory between schools with only a few clicks
Adjust the permission levels for any Adult (Director or Parent) in any organization
Invite the head teacher for any organization within the same school district to create a Presto Assistant organization
Manage all physical inventory
Ability to scan in barcodes for all items
Presto Assistant also automatically assigns a system barcode for all items just in case some items don’t have a barcode.
Import data in CSV format using handy templates for each area
Export a “report” of filtered/sorted/searched data in CSV format
Each item’s “Details” view shows a history of all changes to the data for that item.
This helps with accountability at all levels.
Items can only be seen/edited/deleted with proper permissions
All deleted items require a note for the reason for deletion.
Sync with Google Calendar
You can remove the sync any time
Choose individual calendars to show to all students/parents
Financials (coming Spring 2021)
Set up Stripe to handle payments from Parents
Parents can see all of their students’ payments and pay for them at once
Directors can enter payments made by students, splitting one payment across many fees
Email works! Send as many attachments as you need, up to 25MB total size
Format the text in the email right in the app
All emails sent to students automatically copy the parents.
Add files of any type for use later
Set up folders for use within the Presto Assistant application
Upload once and then access whenever you need it later
Assign groups who have access to uploaded files
Assign the timeframe (school year or date range) when uploaded files are visible to Students/Parents
We’ve been so busy building the bedrock of the application — we are excited to see how everyone uses Presto Assistant!