School and District Communications

Notification Service Adds Option for Broader Community Outreach

A notification service designed for K-12 has added the ability to reach community members too. ParentSquare, which produces a platform intended for two-way contact with families either at the classroom level or at the district or school level, now includes a "Community Groups" feature.

The format for communications with ParentSquare includes texting, email, voice, social and web sharing and app notifications. The service can also accommodate direct messaging, document sharing, appointments, invoices and calendar and RSVP invitations. The company said that the program translates messages into more than 100 languages.

The newest functionality lets people who aren't parents, guardians, students or staff sign up for various communications offered by the district and schools. Those might include notifications about fundraisers, afterschool programs and sporting or alumni events. Community web pages can be enabled at the district or school level, or both.

The idea, according to the company, is to eliminate the need for schools to subscribe to a separate mass email distribution service for communicating with the larger community.

"Our new Community Groups feature provides another layer of communications outreach to strengthen the relationship between schools, families and the community at large," said Anupama Vaid, the company's founder and president, in a press release. "Involving interested community members in school-related activities not only fosters awareness and goodwill, but it can also bolster resources through donations, volunteering and partnerships."

The feature is available to customers with the full ParentSquare subscription. Customers with the Community Groups feature can also add SMS text messages and automated voice calls. Those can be added for an additional charge.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.