State College, Pennsylvania, June 11, 2013 – Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools relies on the Schoolwires Centricity2™ website and CMS and its integrated Mobile App solution to keep its large parent base informed and engaged in their child’s success and district initiatives. Serving more than 53,000 students, the district is the 83rd-largest school system in the nation.

“Today’s parents want access to a wide range of information and resources in multiple formats, including online postings, videos, and photos,” said Steven Anderson, Director of Instructional Technology, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. “When parents understand what is happening in the classroom, they are more supportive of teachers, our schools, and the district. It is really important to put out as much information as possible, especially in a district our size. It helps us to be more transparent.”

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools uses the many digital tools within Schoolwires Centricity2 to communicate with parents and engage them more in their child’s education. These include:

• Teacher Web pages – every one of the district’s 4,000 teachers has a Web page to give parents insight into the classroom and resources to support their children’s learning.
• District website – provides access to a broad range of information and resources to deepen parents’ understanding of school and district challenges and successes, and demonstrates transparency.
• Mobile access – the Schoolwires Mobile App lets parents view all the information and resources on the district website from their smartphones.

On the district website, parents can find information on each of the 81 schools, on district policies and the school board, and resources to enhance learning, combat bullying, and much more. The website played a key communications role as the district searched for a new superintendent who will take office beginning July 1, 2013. The district posted notices about upcoming community forums, and then uploaded summaries of the comments made by the public at each event. The district also posted a survey on the site to elicit community feedback on the issues that are most important to them. A total of 1,760 community members and 2,223 employees filled out the surveys. The results were later posted on the district website. Teacher Web pages include the standards that will be met in the classroom, homework assignments, and resources for students and parents to extend learning into the home. Centralizing all this information and making it easily accessible not only gives students resources, it also gives parents more insight into what is taking place in the classroom and helps them better support their child’s learning. The teacher and district websites receive a million hits a week.

“The numbers are further proof that today’s digital parents expect districts to communicate with them electronically,” said Christiane Crawford, President and Chief Executive Officer, Schoolwires. “Communications and resources need to be accessible to parents in the format they want and when they want it, whether they are accessing homework links from a tablet or viewing a district video on their smartphones.”

“We live in a culture of information consumption, and the Schoolwires’ platform makes it easy for us to deliver information in a way that meets our community’s expectations,” added Anderson.

About Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools was formed in 1963 with the merger of the Winston-Salem and Forsyth County school systems. It is the fifth-largest system in North Carolina and the 83rd-largest in the nation. The district serves more than 53,000 students with the goal of providing a quality education for each child. The school system has 42 elementary schools, 13 middle schools and 14 high schools. Nine special schools bring the systemwide total to 81. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, NC
Read more about the district’s use of Schoolwires Centricity2.

About Schoolwires
Schoolwires, Inc. provides a suite of technology products and related services to more than 1,400 educational entities, including K-12 school districts and schools in the United States and China. The company’s technologies are designed to foster community, student, teacher and parent engagement in the classroom, locally and internationally. Its solutions include an integrated website and content management system, a safe social learning and networking system, and an enterprise technology platform. Schoolwires brings together a district’s essential technologies, information, and content to effectively engage the K-12 community in support of district and student success. The company currently serves an estimated 10 million users and has been recognized as one of the top privately held education companies for the sixth consecutive year by Inc magazine. Schoolwires was incorporated on April 5, 2000 and is headquartered in State College with offices in Beijing, China.
© 2013 Schoolwires, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author: