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COVID-19 Quick View: Remote/Hybrid Learning Guidance & Resources

ParentSquare for Two-Way Communication

A tool for two-way parent/guardian and school communication

Overview

Prior to the pandemic, Meriden Public Schools had begun to investigate different ways to improve communication between parents/guardians and schools. Traditionally, much of the district’s communication happened via paper forms that were sent home and returned with students. After searching for more efficient ways to increase opportunities for two-way communication, the district settled on using a digital tool called ParentSquare. However, Meriden’s tiered rollout plan quickly changed with the shift to remote teaching and learning, leading the district to immediately adopt the tool for all schools.

"One of the ways we were able to strengthen home family connection was by having a universal parent communication tool that let us send and receive information to and from our families very quickly. Prior to the pandemic, we had been using a system that allowed us to make calls from the district level or the school administrators could make calls out to parents, but what we were really missing was that two-way communication. We had started investigating new tools and had decided on a product called ParentSquare, which allows for two-way communication. It allows for posting using apps, texting, and email. We had this lovely rollout plan; I was quite proud of it. I had the schedule for what was going to be a tiered rollout, and it was a thing of beauty. And then we shut down and overnight said, ‘Guess what? Everybody's using this now.’" - Susan Moore, Supervisor of Blended Learning

Approach

Both a communication and organization tool, ParentSquare enables parents/guardians to receive all school, classroom, and group communication via email, text, or the app. They can also see calendar events and RSVP, send private messages to staff, see photos, links, and attachments, and can volunteer to support events. To quickly roll out the tool, the district provided schools with language to share and invite parents/guardians. To allow them to easily enroll to get communication from the district and school and to communicate with teachers, families also received email invitations directly from ParentSquare to make sign up easier.


This strategy is a part of TLA's Hop, Skip, Leapfrog release, which explores the concrete ways in which schools and systems pursued student-centered innovation during COVID-19. Explore the full guide to find additional strategies, insights, and resources.


Strategy Resources


Communications Planning for Innovation in Education

Education Elements and The Learning Accelerator partnered to create this communications guide which includes a... Learn More