Inspiration: Parent engagement
Research clearly connects family and community involvement to attendance, retention, and development and shows that active, meaningful parent engagement boosts student success and achievement. We initially considered the app as a way to increase and manage parent engagement that helps schools improve student achievement and determined a phone-based app was the best way to reach parents wherever they are.
This has been Public School Volunteer Week (4/17-4/21), and parent engagement have become part of compliance with federally funded school programs such as Common Core, No Child Left Behind, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Individuals with Disabilities Act, and other legislation.
What it does
App manages and measures parent-teacher-school engagement, progress, based on best practices in 8 essential areas of effective parent involvement: -Communication -Parenting -Student Learning -Volunteering -Advocacy and Decision-Making -Training -Community Collaboration -Student Health
It facilitates stronger connections and dialogue through: *welcome packet *personal greetings & reminders *emergencies, child health alerts *school newsletter announcements *homework, study strategies, and contests *attendance forms and info on special events/field trips *surveys, progress reports *parent volunteer team dialogue *scheduling of parent teacher conference *school calendar & staff directory *community services directory *coupons to local businesses
Our app will Focus on Results: For Students Reinforcement of good study habits Awareness school importance. Support for achievement.
For Parents Awareness and alignment on school initiatives. Support from school and other parents. Progress reports.
For School & Teachers Greater social capital, retention, and community collaboration. Share information on student progress and development. Leveraging strengths and feedback from family.
How we built it
We used Java on Firebase to to setup database and android enabled user interface that we tested successfully on our phones. Firebase enable us to very easily deploy on most any platform.
Challenges we ran into
Database and RSS connectivity, leveraging strengths of a diverse team, and developing on a new platform that was unfamiliar to us.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Masterminding with, learning from, and developing a team of 6.
What we learned
We learned from research studies how powerfully parent-teacher engagement is as part of school communication. This helped us to target how our app could make a big impact.
http://ProjectAppleseed.org/chklst http://NCPublicSchools.org/docs/parents/toolkit/guide.pdf http://HoraceMann.com/~/media/Documents/Advisory%20panel/parental-involvement.ashx http://michigan.gov/documents/mde/4a._Final_Toolkit_without_bookmarks_370151_7.pdf http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Other-Resources/Family-and-Community-Engagement/Getting-Parents-Involved/Sample-Best-Practices-for-Parent-Involvement-in-Sc
What's next for School Comms
Commercializing after testing prototype results with pilot schools is our next step.
National Parent Involvement day is 11.19.2017 during National Parent Involvement Month! This is a day we may target for launch and get parents involved in schools that partner with us on this app. We are encouraging parents to to get involved and join us in this effort to support your child and our partner schools.
Phase 2 of School Comms will give us time to include: *functionality for additional services and include reporting features that enable schools to gather and use data for making future decisions on allocation of targeted resources and program activities. *manages paperwork, time tracking, payment processing, and value-added services for childcare operations.