In Collaboration with Bloomz, opinions expressed are my own.
Finding a reliable and secure way to facilitate communication between school and home is critical for helping our students to be successful. Even more important is providing everything through a comprehensive and unified program. The entire school community benefits by having a consistent and efficient program in place to meet the needs and preferences of each of its members.
During the past two years we have learned how essential it is to have accessible, consistent and reliable communication between home and school. While we all experienced a challenging time in the world, being able to rely on technology solutions to keep us connected makes a big difference. As educators, we must be intentional in making connections with the families of our students and not only involve them, but engage them in what is happening in our schools all year long. Promoting parental engagement is essential as it directly impacts student success and fosters a supportive home-to-school connection.
We must strive for true partnerships between school, home and the entire school community. Partnerships between each of the “stakeholders” are vital for promoting student well-being and academic success. By putting a greater emphasis on more personal connections with parents and families, we are better able to provide the support that will positively benefit student achievement for years to come.
Forming the Connections
To better engage parents in the learning experiences of their child, it is important to have a system in place that enables schools to communicate effectively and reaches all parents. We must be aware of each family’s needs and preferences when it comes to communication, and develop a clear understanding of how their prior experiences with schools and educators may impact their needs and expectations now.
At times, there may be barriers to parental engagement. Some parents may be unable to attend school meetings due to schedule conflicts or a lack of childcare. Other barriers result from uncertainty of where or how to access information that keeps them informed about the learning that is happening in our classrooms and schools. By recognizing when there may be barriers that limit parental engagement, we can proactively develop strategies and implement the right tools to better support our families.
Understanding the diverse needs of the families and students in our school system will help us to provide a strong and collaborative home-to-school partnership. Strong parental engagement has been shown to positively impact student performance, as well as empowering parents.
Connecting and Engaging with Families
While parents want to be kept informed, we need to be mindful that we do not overwhelm them with a flood of information. Over the past several years parents became more and more overwhelmed with the number of apps they needed to use. However, with Bloomz, parents are kept informed and stay connected in one unified communication platform.
In the Bloomz parent-teacher communication app, barriers to vital information and parental engagement are removed. Teachers can send instant updates, assignment reminders, share a calendar, add photos or videos to messages which will better engage parents in what is happening in their child’s classroom each day. Bloomz enables teachers and parents to communicate through messaging instantly, privately, and as often as needed. The app can be used at the classroom level, and also by administrators at the school level to facilitate communication with teachers, staff, and parents.
With Bloomz, whether for parents or teachers, getting started is easy and it offers a more secure and comprehensive platform than other communication apps that are out there. It integrates multiple functions that take up valuable teacher time that could be spent working with students and connecting with families. Teachers can keep parents informed of upcoming events, changes in schedule, class activities, and classroom needs.
Some features unique to Bloomz are behavior tracking and student-led portfolios. For elementary teachers, features like the student timeline are beneficial for tracking student progress over time. With Bloomz, the use of digital portfolios to monitor student progress enables parents to track their child’s growth and see evidence of learning as it happens.
Students can also upload pictures of their work to their timelines. For parents, being able to receive direct messages that include photos, videos, or documents, in real-time and in one unified space makes a difference. With Bloomz’s PBIS behavior management feature, teachers can communicate with parents about the student’s behavior in class, monitor their progress, and send reports right away. Teachers can reward student behaviors, select different themes, and share notes and updates with parents. The app has many options to engage parents in their children’s learning, and make sure parents are informed and involved.
The key is to move beyond the home-to-school connection and build a “family to school” partnership to engage families and continue to collaborate and grow together. When families have one centralized location to obtain class and school updates, ask questions, or read about upcoming events, it provides a more structured framework for engaging families. It fosters a greater connection between school and home and aids in resolving the barriers of time and lack of information.
At the school and district level, being able to provide everything that students and families need through a comprehensive program and in a manner that parents and families choose is important. Being able to send messages and see in real-time whether communications have been received and read is
Finding the right platform to connect and collaborate in a consistent and timely manner is vital for creating a learning community between home and schools today. Fostering parental engagement is easier with Bloomz.
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