At Frisco ISD, located just north of Dallas in Texas, district administrators didn't have a problem reaching families. Instead, their challenge was finding a way to support all the communication that came with being one of the fastest-growing districts in the country—especially with a policy that prohibited staff members from sharing personal contact information with students and families.
One district policy and many communication channels
With their updated communication policy, Frisco educators struggled to find a safe and effective way to communicate. “Coaches in particular needed to communicate outside of school,” said Cheryl McDonald, Director of Digital Learning Services at Frisco ISD. “They were trying to use Twitter or their campus Facebook pages to share when buses were running late, the weather was bad, or schedules changed.”
The inconvenience of multiple communication channels didn't just affect staff members: Frisco families often had students in several grades and schools. “We heard a lot from our community, 'One source, please. Don't make me go here for this and there for that,'” said Teri Essy, Coordinator of Secondary Instructional Technology. “Parents wanted one easy platform for all of their communication.”
The best part about Remind is the interaction with students, but parents also love it because they can stay up to date with what their kids are doing. I love keeping parents in the loop while they still have their kiddos at home.
– Kenneth Schiumo, Jr., teacher and coach at Liberty High School
An easy-to-use platform at every level
It was clear that Frisco needed to address communication at a larger scale. “Staff members already had to notify their campus administrators when they started using a new communication platform to make sure there was appropriate oversight,” said Essy, “so we decided to streamline to a handful that we knew were safe.”
The safety of this app is appealing. I don't have my students' numbers and they don't have mine, but I can contact them any time. There's a log of all communication, and I appreciate that it's not associated with social media.
– Jennifer Jackson, teacher and club advisor at Centennial High School
“We'd already been recommending Remind because it's so intuitive and easy to use, so it was a natural switch,” McDonald said of the district's decision to purchase a Remind plan for Frisco's 25 middle and high schools. “With Remind, we hardly needed any training at all, and that says a lot about why a majority of our teachers are using it now.”
Driving engagement in a growing community
From their already active base, the district saw an additional 20% increase in the number of educators, students, and parents using Remind to communicate every month. “We've really encouraged our teachers to use Remind for all of their communication,” Essy said. “If they need to text a kid a message, they can do it through Remind. If they need to call a parent, they can do it through Remind.”
Remind's changed my classroom. As soon as I think of something, I can load it into Remind, set the date and time that it needs to go out, and then—done! It frees up my brain space, which is a limited commodity for a teacher.
– ChrisLynn Hernandez, teacher at Wakeland High School
As the district opens several new campuses to accommodate increasing enrollment, Remind also provides a way to welcome new families and staff members to the community. For the nearly 700 new teachers joining Frisco ISD next year, Remind lets them hit the ground running.
“It's nice to be able to give our teachers one platform that we're using and supporting as a district,” McDonald said. “Some are veteran teachers who are new to our district, but a lot are brand new to the profession. Things can be overwhelming, and Remind is one way we can help them get started: with communication that's easy to use.”