FIRST: Please simplify parent and student consent.

Navigating the First Website Student / Parent / Mentor consent forms is quite difficult. Every year I see emails from our head mentor explaining the laborious process of kids creating their accounts, then parents creating theirs, and attaching the two together, and getting the consent printed…

This process should be simple. A parent creates an account. Puts their childrens’ name in, the clicks a button that says “give consent” next to each.

The inconsistent layout of the webpage’s different pages is also adds confusion. Some have buttons, some buttons are drop down menus, some menus close all the other menus for no reason… it’s simply broken and inconsistent design. The entire dashboard/page layout is a hot mess. In addition, coaches should be able to send an email that contains a link that will take parents directly to this page.

One link. One page. One button. One click. That should be it.

Not to mention I don’t think I’ve successfully logged in on the first try since I created my account (server error, not my error)

Tom, I completely agree with you. There needs to be a simpler way to do this digitally. But, there is something that you can do to solve the problem. If your school is like mine, there are about 4-5 forms that students are required to complete to be a part of our robotics club. FIRST still has paper versions of the consent form (https://www.firstinspires.org/sites/default/files/uploads/resource_library/first-youth-team-member-paperwork-2016-2017.pdf). Include this form with the packet of forms that students need to fill out to be a part of the team. At competitions, all you need to do is hand in a copy of all the FIRST consent forms.

Until the online version is much simpler, I will stick with old fashioned paper that never is questioned and presents no headaches.

Matt

It really should be simpler. As part of the Minnesota State High School League, we open our team up to 7th and 8th graders, although we focus on high school. Never more than 1-2 middle schoolers. Anyways, one this year isn’t old enough to register per FIRST’S systems until December. For another student, the system thinks her parent is too young to sign a consent form. We start our registration process in September, because we know it’ll take months to get everyone through!

Amen.

Someone please work on this. It’s like pulling teeth.

After struggling with this for years, 696 will be returning to paper forms for the first time in at least 6 years.

Please give your feedback directly to FIRST via their contact page or via direct email FIRSTRoboticsCompetition[at]firstinspires[dot]org.

Be constructive and give direct examples, and possible solutions. Without your feedback, nothing will change.

We went back to paper two years ago. Maybe someday FIRST will their site more user friendly.

It’s quite laughable. One of my sons account’s shows he’s on another robotics team, with our team number, but he cannot withdraw from it. That shouldn’t even be possible, but this system did it somehow.

So can a team have members on paper and online? Also, for the paper, do you just have to bring the papers to every event you go to? Is there anyone you have to show it too?

Have every team member fill out a paper form, just in case.

Keep the originals.

When you check in at Pit Administration, you should give them COPIES of your paper consent forms.

I see just wondering cuz there’s literally one person on our team whose made three different accounts but can’t get online to work. She’s the only one so just checking to see if its allowed to have both.

It is allowed to have both, but the paper copy is SO much easier that you can cover your options by having everyone do it.

We have all of our mentors do theirs on line. No real problems doing that. This also allows for everyone to have the YPP screening.

We just have all of the students to a paper form. We keep them on file and bring a copy to each event. Our team roster consists of mentors and paper consent and release forms for students.

Just keep in mind there are several awards that require a student to submit them, so you’ll need to have at least 1 student in STIMS if you plan to submit for those.

In New England, there is a paper district release form so we just do all paper.

Both the FIRST and district forms are turned in during registration at your first event and are not needed for registration at subsequent events.

The NE district C&R can also be done electronically - but it can be confusing to find - yet another hurdle in the process.

As Tom said at beginning - there is no reason it could not be one quick sign in by a parent of student ( or student if over 18) and check a couple boxes and be done, mentor can then approve membership to team… No reason it needs to be student sign in, then mentor approve, then parent sign in, and then since the NE district box is a different type of drop down and not readily seen - usually need to go in yet a gain after insisting that they have done everything. Typically takes 2 months to get it all done - with lots of nagging emails and irritation by all parties, sometimes involving calls to FIRST HQ to get something reset. - why does FIRST want to put us all though this?

FIM also requires a seperate Consent and Release form that is paper only. All the more reason to do paper only for all of it.

Though I did enjoy the section of the eblast this week where FIRST tried to butter up all the mentors in an effort to deal with it rather than them make it more simple for users.

Don’t forget to ask parents to register their students today!
Coaches and mentors serve a critical, guiding role on FIRST® teams. We thank you for giving your time, resources, and energy to making the team experience an amazing one for your youth team members.

We can help you keep your parents and your team members “in the know” and make sure they don’t miss out on any of the news and valuable information coming from FIRST.

Help improve our communication to FIRST youth team members and their parents by registering your team members in our system and guiding parents to complete the registration.

Why is this so important?
By registering your youth team members, you:
Allow us to keep in touch with students about scholarships, internships and career opportunities
Help us contact parents in case of emergencies
Make it easier to create a team roster needed for events
Provide FIRST with demographic data to help improve and grow our programs*
Provide your team members with the ability to apply for some team awards

*FIRST uses youth information to understand who our programs are serving – ensuring that they are accessible to all. We also utilize aggregate information to meet sponsor requirements, such as the total number of team members and the percentage of boys and girls. Private information is not shared.

Get started today and learn more about registering youth team members.

We do paper forms for FRC and FTC. We have parents fill them out at the beginning of the season, organize them with the roster, scan them, and then just hit print when we go to an event. It saves the frustration of dealing with First’s website and saves parents from getting wrist cramps filling out multiple copies.

I will just point out that all of FIRST’s data and sponsorship requirements could easily be met with a simple single point of service page that parents can fill out.