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How do I set up an Automated SFTP Sync for parents/guardians via the Guardian file?
How do I set up an Automated SFTP Sync for parents/guardians via the Guardian file?
Alex Karl avatar
Written by Alex Karl
Updated over a week ago

There are multiple ways to add guardian information on ClassTag.

One of the options for adding/updating guardian information in bulk is to use the Guardian file. It is a custom file format that ClassTag offers for schools and districts that have difficulty creating the OneRoster file format or don't have guardian information in their Clever or ClassLink.

Guardian file may be uploaded manually from the user interface on ClassTag or processed automatically as part of the Clever/ClassLink/OneRoster daily sync. Meaning that it is possible to sync student, classroom, staff data from Clever/ClassLink, and guardian data from a separate file. This article covers the steps required to set up the automated SFTP guardian file processing at the district level.

If your daily sync is set up at the school level, please follow the same steps, but perform them for your school and not the district.

If you haven't set up the daily sync with Clever/ClassLink/OneRoster yet, please find the sync setup guides in this article.

1. Prepare an SFTP folder.

In order to set up an automated guardian file sync, you need to have an SFTP folder to drop the CSV file. You can use a folder on your site or, if you don’t have one, ClassTag support will be happy to give you access to our site. Please let us know the option you prefer at

2. Send the guardians.csv file to the SFTP folder.

The guardians.csv file must use specific formatting to upload successfully. Please find the file example here.

3. Self-check.

Please review the sync, file, and other settings and make sure everything is set up as you want it to.

  • Automated guardian sync works as part of a daily sync

    • Guardian SFTP sync works as part of the daily sync, meaning that if the daily sync runs at a District level, the guardian file sync should be set up at the district level too.

  • File name and format

    • The file name is “guardians”.

    • The format is “.csv”

    • The encoding is UTF-8 or ASCII. If your file uses another encoding (e.g. ISO-8859-1) and cannot be converted to UTF-8, please let us know about it at

    • If you’re not sure about the file encoding, you may feel free to proceed with the setup. We’ll be able to help you at a later stage if encoding-related issues arise.

  • Multiple role users' treatment

    • To support users who are staff members and guardians or are parents of multiple children, ClassTag allows its users to have multiple roles under one account.

    • To achieve this, it is up to you to ensure that all roles for the same person use the exact same name, email, and phone in SIS.

    • If the contact information is different for different roles, people may end up having several independent ClassTag accounts. This may not provide an optimal user experience but may make sense for your setup.

  • Guardian IDs

    • Please make sure that your file includes the guardianSisId column filled with the guardian's correct SIS IDs. These IDs are required for the sync to correctly identify guardians when their contact information changes.

    • If guardianSisId is missing, the sync will still work, but guardians may end up receiving new ClassTag accounts in addition to the ones that they already have when their contact information changes in SIS.

4. Enable the sync.

ClassTag will create an initial sync configuration for you that you'll be able to enable on your side when you're ready.

a. Go to the District or School page (depends if you're setting up the sync at the District or School level)

b. Visit Settings

c. Click SIS Rostering

d. Click SFTP Sync for Student Attributes and Guardians

e. Make sure that the Guardians Sync Enabled toggle is ON

  • SFTP Login - SFTP login.

  • SFTP Password - actual SFTP password.

  • SFTP Host - The SFTP domain where your files are accessed and shared (it is always for ClassTag's SFTP site).

  • SFTP Path - where the files are located on the SFTP server (it is always / for ClassTag's SFTP site).

ClassTag will fill out all these fields for you. If they're empty, please let us know at

5. Launch the sync.

The sync is now enabled and will automatically run as part of the daily sync.

To run the full sync now, please click the Start SIS Sync button at the top of the SIS Rostering page.

6. Check the sync results.

After the sync is complete, please check the sync reports or verify family rosters visually on District and School Directory and Classroom pages.

If you have any questions, please contact your Implementation Engineer or Customer Success Manager at ClassTag.


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