In the spring of 2017, principal P.A. White introduced a Remind School plan to Leal Elementary School in Cerritos, California. He’s already used Remind to reach 80% of all parents—but he anticipates 100% participation during the 2017-2018 school year.
After struggling to reach parents with a combination of flyers and robocalls, P.A. set up an individual Remind account with the goal of improving parent communication. It soon became his primary communication tool, but two obstacles prevented full adoption schoolwide.
First, it was time-consuming to sign up the parents of all 740 students—getting the majority of his community on Remind took almost an entire school year and a series of newsletters, emails, and meetings. Additionally, P.A. wanted more insight into how families were using Remind. Without this visibility, it was difficult to take a more data-driven approach to improving parent engagement, one of the eight priorities in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) required by the state.
Transitioning to a Remind School plan
For P.A., two features in the Remind School plan immediately stood out: schoolwide rostering and community engagement statistics.
Schoolwide rostering allows P.A. to reach everyone in his school community by syncing Remind with his roster system. At the start of the next school year, he’ll be able to reach 100% of Leal parents right away. “That alone is well worth the cost,” he says.
Community engagement statistics were another welcome addition to communication at Leal. P.A. estimates that he’s spent hours copying Remind messages into a PDF for evidence of parent engagement. With a School plan, he can instantly create reports within Remind to measure progress toward LCAP goals.
"Teachers see the value of a Remind School plan. It’s been hard to argue with the success we’ve had.”
Leal Elementary secured funding for a Remind School plan through California’s supplemental and concentration grants, which provide support for foster youth, English language learners, and low-income students. Regular parent engagement is essential for these populations, and creating a schoolwide program extends these benefits to every student.
Making meaningful communication easier
With a Remind School plan in place, P.A. can focus on what matters most to him: engaging families. At the school level, he uses Remind to send weekly parent newsletters, surveys, information about field trips, and more. “We’ve seen tremendous growth in participation,” he says. “Just by using Remind, we went from having a handful of parents show up to a roomful.”
At the classroom level, the School plan gives P.A. insight into how teachers are using Remind. He finds it especially rewarding to see how teachers extend learning outside the classroom, and he’s looking forward to encouraging more teachers to engage with students and their families.
Finally, the increased reach of the School plan helps P.A. protect his community with even more confidence. “Last year, we had a lockdown situation in our district,” he says. “I sent out a message on Remind to reassure parents, and phone calls to the office stopped.”