Communication is the lifeblood of any school community. However, between families, students, and staff, schools often juggle multiple communication channels to stay in touch — this is where issues can arise, and important messages get lost in translation. If you use email, newsletters, social media, hard copy notices, your school website, or any other channels to distribute information to your community, it’s easy to see how communication gaps can quickly form. 

So, what’s the best way to reduce gaps, centralize communication, and reduce your team’s workload? The answer is simple: school apps. Let’s explore how this handy tool can not only fill communication gaps at your school but enhance the connection between your community.

Strengthen communication with parents 

There are plenty of software tools available that focus on sharing information between schools and students, but it’s important to pay attention to how your school can better communicate with parents and guardians too. 

As the key decision-makers in their child’s educational journey, it’s essential to make communication easy to access and convenient to them. When speaking with our community of schools across the globe, we tend to hear similar issues when it comes to communication breakdown: 

  • Difficulty sharing information about day-to-day activities
  • Unable to deliver urgent, time-sensitive information
  • Reliance on paper notices and newsletters
  • Lack of engagement with school notices 

The danger of these communication gaps can leave parents and guardians feeling out of the loop and disconnected from their school. As of 2020, the number of people who own a smartphone has surpassed 3 billion users and shows no sign of slowing down. Our smartphones and handy apps have become an essential part of our everyday lives. We manage our finances, order groceries, and stream entertainment, all from the palm of our hands. It makes sense then to provide your parents and guardians with information in a place that they’re most likely to engage with it: a mobile app.

Reduce your team's workload

No matter your school’s size, we know that many marketing and admissions departments often operate as a team of one, sharing the responsibility of distributing communication with multiple colleagues.

If handling communication is split between multiple departments, you might be struggling to find a way to streamline processes and remove double-handling — this is where a school app can help. One of the most-loved features of our Digistorm Apps is the user-friendly content management system (CMS), which not only enables you to segment communication topics to specific audiences but also allows you to provide key staff limited access to publish information. 

For example, if your school has a big focus on sport, you might like to provide CMS access to your head coach, enabling them to share all sport-related content on your school app for those who are subscribed to receive sports updates. This functionality ensures that content is secure while lightening the workload for your team.

A few must-have school app modules

Now that we’ve talked about streamlining communication and balancing your team’s workload, let’s dive into just some of the key features within a Digistorm App that’ll enhance your communication processes. 

Notices and newsletters

These three modules are the key to sharing information at your school. With our notices module, you can provide a better experience for families through the use of ‘tags.’ These tags enable you to categorize content and for users to subscribe to the topics that they’re most interested in. On the other hand, our news and newsletter modules allow you to share key updates and happenings at your school with your community.

Calendar, events, and timetables

It's likely that parents are already juggling several calendars across multiple platforms – here's where the calendar module can help. Rather than needing to build an entirely new calendar in your school app, Digistorm integrates with your existing school calendar to pull all of the information through to the calendar module – pretty handy, right? Now, parents can access all event information in one place and add events to their personal Google or Apple calendars. Similar to the notices module, you can choose to add push notifications and subscription tags so that parents can choose to view and be alerted about the events that are associated with their children.

Co-curricular activities

If there's one department with ever-evolving updates and notices, it's co-curricular activities. With the co-curricular module, alerts and urgent push notifications can be sent to parents for any last-minute updates (think venue changes or wet weather cancellations). Depending on your school's specific needs, you can customize your school app to include one co-curricular module or separate modules for different sports. 

Provide the right information

Locating the right contact information or department within your school can be a frustrating process, especially when this information is scattered across multiple platforms. The Digistorm App offers modules that can create simple communication pathways for parents, including key contact lists for your school such as:

  • Student services
  • General inquiries 
  • Absentee Line
  • Sports inquiries

School apps are an effective solution to filling the communication gaps between your school community. They're easy to use and customizable to your school’s specific needs and requirements. Want to learn more? Take a look at our beginner's guide to school apps.

Published February 28 2020