Wired for engagement – the Schoolwires blog

Article: What a Lesson Plan for Parent Engagement Looks Like

Posted by Debbora Woods on 1/27/15 9:00 AM


I just read a great article from Education Week Teacher called "What a Lesson Plan for Parent Engagement Looks Like." It's a real-life story from teacher Megan Allen and she provides some good engagement strategies, such as:

  1. Talk about family engagement. Teachers must spend time exploring how to include families as partners in student learning.
  2. Set the tone. Good teacher-family communication is quick, effective, and consistent.
  3. Make it part of the lesson plan. For example, will students be performing a task that parents can capture with a smartphone or iPad? Teachers can collect photos over time and display them at a conference night.

This article also provides links to a podcast and a 5-part blog on how K-12 teachers can communicate effectively with parents. Check it all out here >>

Want to discover more Schoolwires tips and resources to improve your K-12 district's family and community engagement? Take our free Community Engagement Assessment

Topics: Parent Engagement, Family Engagement, K-12 Teachers

Free webinar with Dr. Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University

Posted by Debbora Woods on 10/2/14 9:00 AM


Join us for the next Parent Involvement & Community Engagement in K-12 webinar...

Then and Now: Developing Programs of Family and Community Involvement for Student Success

Wednesday, October 8 at 4:00 pm Eastern Time

Studies show that it is imperative to change from the “old way” of thinking about parental involvement to a “new way” of organizing district leadership and school-based programs of school, family, and community partnerships.

In our edWeb community's next webinar, Dr. Joyce Epstein will share key concepts, essential structures, and expected results of research-based programs of family and community involvement. This interactive session will prepare district leaders to:

  1. Create welcoming schools
  2. Strengthen plans and practices of community involvement
  3. Build knowledge of research on partnership program development
  4. And much more!

You will also gain a common vocabulary, learn about available resources, and be able to ask Dr. Epstein questions at the end of her presentation.

This is an event you don't want to miss -- Register today!

P.S. Want to learn how Schoolwires can help drive parent engagement in your K-12 school district? Explore our articles and videos to discover more!

Topics: Community Engagement, Parent Engagement

Need to improve parent engagement? There's an app for that!

Posted by Debbora Woods on 9/2/14 9:00 AM


Schools have already started, or will be soon, the 2014/15 school year. This means the calendars get loaded up with athletic events, PTO meetings, music performances, homework assignments, school closures due to inclement weather, and more. If you're a parent, you know the drill! How do you keep on top of it all and run and organized household? If you're an educator, how do you keep your parents informed and engaged in a timely manner? Well, Schoolwires has the win-win solution: we offer an affordable mobile app that will save district parents time and clicks when getting the information that's relevant to them! And, district staff can update website content via their smartphones when they're on the move.

Over the years we've seen schools' channels of communication evolve from backpack fliers and home visits to group emails and text messages. From folded and stuffed envelopes mailed to homes to social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Parents want information now - they don't want to hunt for it. It all comes down to real-time information -- easily available when your K-12 community needs it, where they are.

Many of our K-12 district clients realize the importance of having responsive websites that adapt automatically to the various mobile formats - laptops, tablets, smartphones - to provide the best user experience for their website visitors. And these beautiful responsive sites are being rolled out all across the nation. However, here's one thing to consider -- those websites can't do everything that a mobile app can do. That's why your district needs both a mobile app and responsive website template to ensure you're reaching your stakeholders and increasing parent engagement through all possible channels.

In our research, we've found the following are some most-needed pieces of information on-the-go parents want to access from their smartphones:

  1. Check lunch menus
  2. View athletics and extracurricular schedules
  3. Monitor student grades
  4. Receive weather alerts
  5. Locate school addresses and maps

Sure, they can find this information on your website. But, a mobile app provides this information with one click from the palm of their hand. There are benefits for both parents and your district.

Benefits for Parents:

  • Choose from which schools in your district they wish to receive information
  • Quick, easy access to information they want and need
  • Notifications of events, news, and critical announcements
  • One-touch access to school contact information
  • Directions to your location from wherever they are
  • Save time and effort from visiting separate web pages and drilling down to information

Benefits for your District and Schools:

  • Build engaged relationships with parents
  • Increase your visibility and accessibility
  • Connect with on-the-go parents
  • Enhance your social networking strategies

A mobile app will save your parents time and clicks when getting the information that's relevant to them. And, a mobile app is the most affordable and effective way for your K-12 district to reach out to parents these days! Click here to learn more and schedule a mobile app demo today!

Topics: K-12, Mobile Communications App, Parent Engagement

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