How to Use ParentSquare to Its Full Effect
by Hannah Dragoo, on Aug 5, 2021 5:15:08 PM
Over the past few years, school districts have increasingly gravitated toward ParentSquare to strengthen their relationships with parents and consolidate their communication tools. A multi-faceted engagement platform, ParentSquare offers practically everything your district needs to effectively communicate with students, parents, and staff when all features are utilized.
Communicate and Engage
You can use ParentSquare to publish and receive district communications on any device. You can download the mobile app for free on iOS or Android, and you can also use it from a computer at parentsquare.com. Once set up, ParentSquare will automatically generate an account for each parent and staff member, using the primary email address and phone number provided to the district. With this information, your district can send announcements via text, email, push notifications, and voice calls.
The “Groups” feature allows you to segment your school community by selecting users, entering contacts, uploading a CSV, or defining attributes. The possibilities are endless, and you can customize district and school site-specific groups to fit your community’s communication needs. Some examples may include but are not limited to “Elementary Summer School Students,” “Office Staff,” or “Graduating Seniors.” When creating a new post, you can select which group you would like to see your message.
ParentSquare allows you to include attachments such as calendar entries and event RSVPs, photos and files, forms, item requests, and volunteer sign-ups when publishing your post. It also gives you the option to publish your messages immediately or schedule them for later. This feature is great if your post refers to a newsletter, a video on your District’s YouTube channel, or a parent survey that is scheduled to be published at a later date. You can easily plan your post to go out at your desired date and time. You can also encourage feedback from parents in comments, which you can set to be private or public.
In addition to the larger district and school community communication efforts, ParentSquare has various tools that teachers can utilize for day-to-day communications with parents. Adding ParentSquare to your teacher’s toolkit will make their lives easier, since most items they usually send home with students or email to parents can be consolidated in one easy-to-use platform. Here are some key features:
1. Direct Messaging
Instant real-time two-way translated chats are available for teachers and parents to communicate. Teachers have the option to send a message privately to a parent or coordinate a larger group conversation.
2. Attendance Alerts
Student attendance, lunch balances, and other notifications are sent to parents via text, email, voice calls, and app notifications. Parents can easily send excuse notes through the ParentSquare app or web page delivered to attendance clerks.
3. Parent-Teacher Conferences
The conference tool allows teachers to schedule conference days and time slots for multiple groups, classes, and grade levels. ParentSquare will also send automatic reminders to parents to sign up for a time slot and alert them the day before their conference.
Your district calendar can sync with your ParentSquare calendar to keep all community members up to date. Parents can subscribe to the ParentSquare calendar that includes events from all their groups, classes, and grades.
5. Forms and Permission Slips
Create simple, text-based forms to gather input from parents on upcoming school events. Parents may sign and submit electronic permission slips directly through the event post/form, creating a hassle-free process for parents and teachers.
When navigating a new platform, it may take a while to become accustomed to all of the ins and outs that it has to offer. Here are three quick tips administrators and teachers can follow to ensure they are effectively interacting with their parents and contributing to their students’ success:
- Selecting the “New Post” button allows you to send messages to your district or classroom community easily. Here, you can send plain messages, event invitations, parent volunteer requests, and share pictures and documents.
- The “New Post” page provides a language translation option that automatically sends your messages in two languages: English and the parent’s preferred language.
- Selecting “Delivery Stats” allows you to check if all members of your selected group received your message.
Screenshot from ParentSquare
- Unify all communication tools used in your classrooms, school sites, and district.
- Upgrade all essential communications with added features like Forms and Permission Slips, Parent-Teacher Conference Scheduling, Polls, and more!
- Simplify notifying your school community about urgent updates, report cards, and attendance notices.
- Measure successful engagement and communication efforts.
Remember — ParentSquare provides a simple and safe way for everyone at school to connect. When utilizing all of its features, you’ll be able to oversee all communications district-wide while effectively creating an engaged school community.
Hannah manages newsletters, policy research, media relations, and social media content creation for Presidio’s nonprofit and school district clients. She has previously worked on communications and public relations strategies for non-profit organizations such as Together We Rise, March of Dimes, and the Newport Beach Film Festival. Hannah received her B.A. in Communication Studies: Public Relations from CSU Fullerton.