ParentSquare's success rides on active teacher involvement: posting edifying information for parents, adding events to the integrated school calendar, and sharing photos and files of student and school activity with parents. Teachers can also engage parents through interactive polls and allow them to RSVP for events or sign up to bring things to the classroom.
Administrators will get a good deal of information from the site by utilizing the administrator usage dashboard, where they can view how many users they have; what the reach of emails, text messages, and the app are; and how many users participated in posts and other things on the site. Administrators can measure engagement by looking at the percentage of emails that are read, how many text messages are received, and how many app users are notified. This information can be used to better mold communications throughout the year to boost parent involvement.Continue reading Show less
ParentSquare aims to improve communication, organization, and engagement between parents and schools. Parents can access posts, events, photos, files, and a directory on the site. School administrators and teachers can post polls and use two-way messaging via the Web, email, and text messages. For a fee, users can send voice messages via text to parents. In the posts, administrators can see how many parents viewed the post, ask for items, request volunteers, get RSVPs, or even fundraise. Events are integrated right into the school calendar. Photos and files can be shared easily, and parents can even download photos from the site and post comments (if enabled); also, if schools choose, they can have parents upload photos into albums for others to view. The site also boasts a directory of staff and families (if it's enabled), and parents can direct-message educators and administrators through the site. There's also an iOS and Android app available for parents, and schools can enable other add-ons including fund drives, polls, archives, a registration app, volunteer hours, an alumni database, and smart voice alerts (which carry an additional cost).Continue reading Show less
The site boasts many useful tools for fostering consistent, on-time communication. The site prioritizes sociality and community, encouraging parents to connect with teachers and administrators and to be more more involved in and aware of school activities and student progress. The site also lets administrators see how many parents are engaging with the content, so they can better inform outreach and foster more productive, active school communities.
The rich feature set offers a much-needed update to traditional newsletters, conferences, and emails as well as a step up from pure messaging apps. There's still room for ParentSquare to grow, however, since it leaves students out of the equation. Building in a gradebook or an assignment system would be a welcome addition; this could bring students into the conversation and help foster flexible, regular communication among schools, parents, and students. As it is, this tool is likely a better fit for families of younger students without significant homework demands.Continue reading Show less