PowerSchool to Acquire Kinvolved, Expanding K-12 Platform to Provide Critical Messaging and Communication Solution

FOLSOM, Calif. PowerSchool (NYSE: PWSC), the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kinvolved, a leading provider of K-12 communications, attendance, and engagement solutions supporting over 250,000 students and used within three of the top four school districts in the U.S. Adding Kinvolved’s leading communication engine to PowerSchool’s  Unified Home solution will enable schools and districts to strengthen and simplify overall communications and notifications between school and home to increase engagement and help reduce absenteeism.

“Collaboration between teachers, parents, and students is one of the most important aspects of an effective education, and we know it’s a top priority for our customers to have efficient, centralized notifications and communications integrated with PowerSchool” Tweet this

“Collaboration between teachers, parents, and students is one of the most important aspects of an effective education, and we know it’s a top priority for our customers to have efficient, centralized notifications and communications integrated with PowerSchool,” said Hardeep Gulati, CEO of PowerSchool. “We look forward to welcoming Kinvolved to our PowerSchool team, and together making a bigger impact on improving student engagement and outcomes.”…Read More

5 ways a more equitable school-home communication system helped our district

The pandemic has forced districts to rethink how they communicate with parents, and things aren’t going to go back to the “way they were” anytime soon (if at all). Forced to operate remotely, and without much warning, our district knew it had to move away from snail mail as a primary mode of school-home communication and over to a more modern, fast, and efficient solution.

Fortunately, we already had a safe and secure platform for school-home communication in place before the pandemic; it was just a matter of ramping up our usage of the technology, getting parents and teachers trained on how to consistently use it, and then putting it into action.

With Aeries as our student information system (SIS) and ParentSquare tightly integrated into it, that’s exactly what we did.…Read More

K-12 Districts Nationwide Expand Usage of ParentSquare to Strengthen Family Engagement

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. Jan. 20, 2022—As educators gear up for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year, school-to-home engagement continues to be a top priority. To unify all school communication and build stronger communities, school systems nationwide — including public, private, and charter school systems — have signed on to expand their use of ParentSquare, the premier unified school-home engagement platform for K-12.

Recent school districts to renew and expand their ParentSquare features include the Pleasanton Unified School District, Napa Valley Unified School District, and the Yakima School District. ParentSquare is the only fully unified product that engages every family with school communications and communications-based services—all the way from the district office to the classroom teacher, and all in one place.

Extending community reach. Pleasanton USD, in northern California, has over 14,000 students enrolled in its 30 schools. The district’s overarching goal for signing on with ParentSquare was to make information more accessible and digestible for families, especially during the pandemic. The district recently adopted ParentSquare’s new Community Groups feature to contact alumni of its oldest high school about that school’s centennial. “Some alumni have email, some just have a phone number, but with Community Groups, we now can reach everyone, with relevant information,” said Patrick Gannon, the district’s communications and community engagement coordinator.…Read More

5 tips to create a successful hybrid learning environment

Over the past year and a half, “hybrid learning” has become quite the buzzword when it comes to education. With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting learners across the world, we’ve witnessed the growing need for hybrid learning, an education option that combines the benefits of a traditional in-person classroom and online learning. But the need for this option won’t just be a fleeting trend. The future of hybrid learning is bright, and the benefits are unmatched. I’ve seen it for myself.

As an educator for 10 years, I’ve worked in in-person, online, and hybrid classrooms. I’ve experienced the dos and don’ts of creating learning environments where my students can not only learn but be their best selves. When my colleagues ask me for my secret for success, here are the tips that I share: 

1. Establish a positive hybrid learning culture and a strong learning community. …Read More

4 ways to incorporate student voice, choice, and SEL into learning

Research shows that giving students agency and influence in their learning makes them more engaged and invested in their education. It also empowers them to take control, show initiative, and adopt leadership roles. Giving students voice and choice also helps them feel valued, encourages them to realize their interests and potential, and can improve their academic outcomes.

Student voice, choice and social and emotional learning (SEL) go hand-in-hand. SEL helps students develop agency because it teaches them to engage authentically as leaders, problem-solvers, and decision-makers. It also improves students’ communication skills and their ability to advocate for themselves.

Here are four ways schools can incorporate student voice, choice, and SEL in students’ learning.…Read More

7 strategies to get teacher buy-in for new technology tools

Parent engagement is a driving factor behind any child’s success in school—but a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 teachers found that parents are often disengaged in their child’s learning journey. To harness edtech tools that can help school-home communication, it’s essential to first secure teacher buy-in.

More than half of the teachers surveyed believe parents do not understand the importance of their involvement in their child’s school experience, and they assume education is a teacher’s job–not a collaborative effort between parents and teachers.

As the district technology integrationist in a rural Title 1 district, I continually look for affordable and/or free edtech resources that will bridge the communication gap between teachers and parents. But those resources also require teacher buy-in.…Read More

5 ways to foster family engagement in your district

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shift to virtual and hybrid learning left families and educators with important discoveries, including the realization that family engagement and home-school communication are critical to student success.

One-way communication falls flat, and families must be engaged with schools in order for schools to create and maintain equitable learning environments for students, says Mahnaz R. Charania, PhD, a senior research fellow at the Christensen Institute and author of a new report about reimagining family engagement. This engagement requires trust and reciprocity–merely sending information home in student backpacks and out in electronic communications is ineffective.

Communication does not equal connection. There do exist a number of programs and technology tools to help schools harness the “untapped potential of families.” When integrated within robust family engagement strategies, these programs and tools serve to establish families and educators as partners in supporting students and student success.…Read More

How we can reach Communication 4.0

Since early in the pandemic, teachers, administrators, parents, and students have been called upon to do things differently. At first, there were band-aids put in place just to try to make it to the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Surely the pandemic would be only a temporary inconvenience.

By the start of the 2020-2021 school year, schools around the country were beginning to look toward the longer term. They adopted new procedures and methods of instruction; they were ready to move forward and make the best of a difficult situation, whether in a remote environment, on campus with social distancing and mask requirements, or vacillating somewhere in between.

Now we’ve come to the start of the 2021-2022 school year. The normalcy we thought would return is in doubt with the surge of the Delta variant and COVID case numbers in children on the rise. So what happens now?…Read More

Rise Vision Creates Free Posters for Encouraging Safety and Reducing Bullying for Students

(September 29, 2021) –– Anti-bullying is focused on promoting safety, addressing behaviors, defining rules and expectations, and rewarding positive behavior through communication. All teachers, staff, and administrators must be on board to prevent bullying from occurring. Rise Vision has released 10 free anti-bullying posters for schools that feature positive messages and motivational quotes to promote healthy student learning. The posters can be printed, shared on digital signage, websites, and on social media. 

The posters are available for download as both JPEG and high-resolution PDFs, in landscape and portrait-oriented formats.

“Bullying impacts students online and in schools around the world. October is Anti-Bullying Month and so to help schools spread the message we’ve created this set of posters. The 10 posters share messages that promote kindness, discourage bullying, and raise awareness. We hope schools find them valuable and that they help reduce bullying.” Shea Darlison, Head of Revenue.…Read More

Communication and teacher appreciation took top priority in this district’s COVID strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and that means educators across the globe are still finding inventive and innovative ways to support and teach students in classrooms, during hybrid instruction, and in virtual settings.

The eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards program, sponsored by Trox, recognizes the determined and dedicated efforts of educators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Never before have educators been challenged and tested as they were, beginning in March 2020 and up until today, and never before has their resilience been more apparent. Administrators, technology leaders, classroom teachers, and educators in all roles have persevered as they taught each and every one of their students during a global pandemic.…Read More