Managing school parent communication using parent portal

Teacher-parent communication is a two-way path that benefits a child’s school education. 

 

Today, technology has evolved in such a way that it offers various opportunities for educational institutes to opt for the latest and best gadgets & applications that positively impact the student’s education.

 

Education institutes have widely used student information systems and school management systems with parent portals worldwide to boost the productivity of school & student activities.

 

Here are a few insights into a parent portal and how it can help effectively in managing home-school communication:

1. What is a parent portal, and how does it benefit parents?

To enable better communication among the teachers & parents, school ed-tech providers have incorporated parent portals in their solutions. These portals provide separate login access for the parents to view and track their child’s performance and contact the concerned authorities.

 

The use of parent portals keeps parents involved in various activities of the school & complements teacher-parent communication. It offers insights into different schooling areas, including academic lessons, homework, class schedules, examinations, transportation, peer collaboration, extracurriculars, and more. 

 

Providing such access creates a sense of responsibility among parents to support their child’s education.

2. Reasons for parents to use the parent portal

Parents perceive these portals as an excellent medium for accessing their child’s academic and non-academic concerns. Specifically, they use these portals to monitor their child’s grades, class activities, and assignments. However, through these portals, they are also provided with details on other aspects like fee payment, important events, attendance, child’s behaviour, school bus tracking, etc. 

 

Parent portals do not replace conventional means of communication like phone calls, emails, and school diaries. Instead, they integrate all of these into an advanced system, which contributes to a new and improved way of communication that reduces the communication gap between the school, parents & teachers.

3. Major ways by which parents portal enables effective communication

Direct Communication

Direct communication refers to a single parent communicating directly to a single teacher or staff he/she wishes to by utilizing various features of the parent portal. It can be in the form of audio calls, video calls, instant messaging, instant chats, etc. 

 

Group communication

There can be situations where information is required to be shared with multiple people. In those cases, group communication becomes highly beneficial. The group communication features of parent portals allow sharing information with multiple people using a secure group platform.

 

One-to-one communication and group messaging are two major modes of communication in parent apps. Here are some important features and methods that enable such communication:

 

Discussion forums

The discussion forum boards help share information between the school and the parents. It can be a platform for parents to stay connected, stay updated about important events, ask questions, and share their thoughts.

 

Class Calendar Integration

The parent portals of most school apps offer access to their child’s school calendar, which helps track curriculum details, daily assignments, reminders, important events, etc. This allows teachers and parents to monitor students’ workload and progress.  

 

Reporting & Analytics.

School management applications with parent portal streamline continuous monitoring of student activities with proper analytics and meaningful reports. Real-time analytics and reports associated with various events can be shared with parents. They can include grade books, mark sheets, fee payment receipts & other invoices, performance reports, admission forms, chat transcripts, daily attendance reports, classwork presentations, etc. 

 

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent portals support parent-teacher communication through calls and audio/ video conferences. Teachers will be provided options to share email invitations or scheduled calendar links for online meetings. The conference sessions may offer a variety of features like call recording, screen sharing, instant messaging while on call, file sharing, etc.

 

Instant Messaging and Push Notifications

Chats, instant messaging, and notifications serve the purpose of providing real-time updates on various events. Parents can view in-app messages sent from the schools by logging into their profiles. Most applications also have a feature to enable push notifications so that the user will get a push notification whenever they have a new message. 

 

Emails and Newsletters

Important information regarding classes, subjects, school events, etc., can be easily shared in the form of notices and newsletters via email to the parents. The components can be set in such a way that they can be sent in the form of broadcasts or direct emails, ensuring an instant and timely information distribution. Parents can access such information by logging on to the parent portal. 

4. Important features and benefits of the parent portal

» Quick and instant access to information regarding student performances, teachers, events, admissions, payments, exams, etc.

» An easy and reliable way of communication. Parents can even use their handheld devices to log into the portals. 

» Automating various tiring manual tasks like admission, fee payment, meetings, etc. 

» Real-time and secured access to student data and their activities. 

» Transparency and control over viewable and shareable information. 

 

5. Some useful tips on clear & concise communication through parent apps:

» Always take care in checking your tone of communication to avoid misinterpretations. Use clear, brief, and understandable language.

» Do not share sensitive/private/personal information, material, or topics that are irrelevant to the purpose.  

» Try to include more positive forms of communication instead of negative ones.

» Always maintain privacy. Be sure to share what information with whom. This applies to all users, like teachers, parents, students, and school authorities. 

The Final Thoughts:

The involvement from the parents’ side is highly crucial for the success of a child’s education. School apps with parent portals have made it easier to care for their children in all areas of education. As new and updated features are getting introduced all along, with the effective utilization of the parent portal, it becomes easily possible to keep the commitment and enthusiasm of children at the highest level and improve their education in all ways.

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