How are schools missing the mark on parent engagement?
Parents rate family and community engagement as the most important driver of satisfaction with their child’s school—but districts frequently fail to offer them a voice in the education system… – Alison DeNisco, District Administration
A 2017 study by Rice University indicated that schools are falling short to offer productive communication and outreach to involve parents in the district. A shocking stat is that in a time where communication is held by our fingertips instead face-to-face or phone calls, public school parents report that 34% of parents are ‘very satisfied’ with family and community engagement.
Understanding that not every parent will engage or be very satisfied with how a school is communicating, its important to look at the systems in place that are limiting the school communication strategies. Many systems are available that actively enhance a parent & school relationship.
What can be done to improve parent-school relationships in 2018?
One-way schools can do this is by taking advantage of technology to proactively start the conversations online. An engaging family portal will allow parents to have discussions directly with their student’s teacher, a mobile app that provides parents the ability to drill down in detail on assignments and receive push notifications as well as a convenient option for signing up and maintaining their parent-teacher conferences are great avenues to get the ball rolling.
The kicker to embracing technology to engage the parent is having one convenient login system for the parent. If the parent is tasked with remembering a password for all these different system, all with user interfaces that are lack luster then the school will continue struggling to meet expectations. The challenge is to find one Student Information System that can meet the task of proactively engaging parents.
Check out how schools can get the most of their parent portals here:
Why do schools need to embrace a Student Information System with an engaging parent portal?
Having a engaging space for parents to collaborate with teachers is just one piece of the pie. When it comes to further involving parents at the district it must be taken from an approach that encompasses the entire school. With a student information system that allows for a singular log-in to visit information on a child’s food service balance, pay for this year’s sporting fees or upcoming field trips, maintains assignment information, and provides text alert notification to impending activity or school cancellation are just a handful of ways many departments can interact with a parent.
Some schools are accomplishing this now, while are not. In 2018 we’ll see even more schools starting to take this approach of further integrating their systems in place to effectively create an engaging school experience for the staff, parents, and students. With an EdTech approach there’s a great chance to improve the Rice University study percentage well over the current 34%.
I am dedicated to helping schools provide a better experience through all operations and am continuing to service hundreds of districts interested in finding new avenues to better engage all school stakeholders.
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