Name of Travel Letter: Enter the name of your travel letter. This name only appears on the main travel letters page and therefore will not be seen by students or faculty members. So feel free to “name” the travel letter something that makes sense to you or your advisors. An example of a valid name could be something like “Football Championship 2011”. Note the "Name of the Travel Letter" also shows on attendance reports for absences created by a travel letter.
Activity Starts/Ends: Define the start/end date and time around your travel letter. GradesFirst will use these dates and times to determine which appointments, courses and assignments students will miss. It is therefore very important to ensure these dates are correct.
Subject of E-mail: As the name implies, the subject will appear as the subject line of the E-mail sent to your professors. Given its importance, and the fact that it will be seen by your professors, great consideration should be taken when defining this. An example of a subject could be “Please excuse the football team for the Football Championship 2011.”
Message: The message is where you can provide details, about the activity, that will appear in both the E-mails and letters sent to your professors and students. By default, the letter contains a message along with specific merge fields to help you personalize the content your professors will see. We offer up the following fields for you to use:
- Professor names
- Start and end dates (and times)
- Student names
- Creator’s name (the person who created the travel letter)
- Categories (this field is not currently in the letter, but is available for you to use if desired)
Select Students: Use the Categories and/or Tags to define exactly which student will be included in this travel letter.
Letterhead: This option allows you to browse out to a file on your desktop and add it to the Current Letterhead field. Once this is done, you will be able to print your letters on school letterhead for distributing.
After defining your travel letter, click ‘Save Travel Letter’ to save. Upon saving, GradesFirst will immediately start to “process” your letter. This process may take a few minutes to complete, so don’t be alarmed if, when you click on the Students tab, you don’t yet see any students. Students will appear when the process completes.
What do I do now? Well, good question. The answer is rather simple; you won’t need to do anything until just before the start date of the activity. For instance, in the example below, my football team will be going to play football at Alabama. So my travel letter will ask the professors to excuse my athletes starting on 3/27 at 2:00 pm and ending on 3/31 at 11:30 pm.