Communication between schools and families needs to be foolproof—meaning smooth, simple and without room for error. It's one of the keys to creating a positive educational experience and ensuring parents have great things to say about your school. By streamlining communications, integrating internal systems, and implementing user-friendly portals, schools can maximize engagement and collaboration for a win-win way of working. 

Here are some strategies that can help you maximise the school experience for your parents, guardians, staff...and even your students!

Simplify and streamline your communications

Juggling kids and life is challenging in the modern world, meaning parents and guardians are frequently stressed and busy—particularly when the children are involved in multiple extracurricular activities, which often change at the last minute.

Most parents now have phone and email inboxes that are overflowing with bills, unanswered questions, and advertising. Schools can help lessen the load with a well-thought-out communications plan.

Utilize a centralized communication platform 

Implementing a user-friendly communication platform is a game-changer for schools. By consolidating all communication channels into one place, like a Digistorm App, you can ensure that important information reaches parents, students, and staff members efficiently and in a timely manner. This not only saves time for your team and families, but also reduces the risk of messages getting lost in the shuffle.

Give real-time updates with push notifications

A lot happens for a student in a school week and parents want to stay informed. By integrating push notification functionality into your communication platform, you can deliver real-time updates directly to parents and students' mobile devices. Whether it's an important announcement, event reminder, extracurricular activity change, or emergency alert, push notifications ensure that everyone stays informed and engaged, no matter how busy they are.

Personalize your communication

There’s nothing nicer than personalized communication — and we don’t just mean an email that says your first name. By leveraging data from your SIS, LMS and EMS you can tailor the content of your messages to individual recipients. This might include targeted messages such as progress reports, attendance updates, and personalized feedback to enhance engagement and involve parents in their child's educational journey. Personalization fosters a sense of connection and shows that you care about each student's unique needs.

Integrate your internal systems

To project a great front, things need to be tight behind the scenes. This means synced up and integrated systems across learning, finance, extracurricular activities and student data. 

Implement a unified School Information System (SIS) 

Investing in a comprehensive SIS with all the bells and whistles is a game-changer for schools. By integrating various school management functions, including enrollment, grading, attendance, and communication, you can streamline processes and ensure data consistency. A unified SIS will also reduce manual data entry, eliminate silos, and enhance your school’s overall efficiency.

Integrate with a well oiled Learning Management System (LMS) 

The seamless exchange of data between your SIS and LMS is vital to improving the learning experience. By connecting these systems, you can streamline processes such as class enrollment, assignment submission and grading. This integration eliminates duplicate efforts, saves time for teachers, and provides students with a cohesive online learning environment to keep them on track.

Connect with an integrated Extracurricular Management System (EMS)

Connecting with an Extracurricular Management System (EMS) shows families you have an active interest in their lives beyond the confines of the classroom and playground. The benefits of an EMS include improved child safety and enhanced communication, with personalized schedules and notifications for students, parents and staff.

Sync up with a sophisticated financial system 

Managing finances can be a complex task for schools and parents alike. By integrating your SIS with financial systems, you can streamline tuition payments, fee tracking, and financial reporting. This integration reduces administrative workload, enhances accuracy, and provides parents with a convenient way to manage payments, alleviating stress for all parties involved. Sounds like a no-brainer if you ask us.  

Ensure you have user-friendly parent and student portals

From emails to social media, banks, government agencies, work dashboards—there are so many platforms we regularly interact with. Remembering our credentials is the first challenge, then we're faced with the sometimes daunting task of figuring out how to navigate through the portal. Make things that little bit easier by ensuring your school portals are user-friendly and represent your school brand rather than a clinical IT user-face. 

Offer a user-friendly interface 

When it comes to parent and student portals, simplicity and intuitiveness are the way to keep families happy. This means developing portals that are easy to navigate and responsive across devices. By doing this, you’ll ensure that parents and students can access information with ease, track progress, and communicate with teachers seamlessly, whether they're using a computer, tablet, or phone.

Be transparent with grades and progress tracking

Transparency is essential in the realm of education. As part of this, parents and students need to be able to easily view grades, attendance records, and progress reports. Consider incorporating features like data visualization and historical performance trends for a comprehensive overview of academic progress. This empowers parents and students to take an active role in monitoring and celebrating achievements.

Take forms and permission slips digital

Administrative tasks can often be time-consuming and resource-intensive for families. Simplify these processes by offering online forms and permission slips rather than the old fashioned paper way. Parents can conveniently submit forms, grant permissions, send payments, and update contact information, reducing paperwork and improving data accuracy. Best of all, this allows teachers and administrators to focus on what truly matters: educating the next generation!

Wrapping up 

By implementing streamlined communications, integrating internal systems, and offering user-friendly portals, schools can enhance the parent and student experience. These strategies not only save time and resources but also foster engagement and collaboration. 

Published August 9 2023