Guest post by Joe Mazza
This week on #PTchat (Wed., 2/20 9PM EDT) we’ll be working on our school websites and mobile app offerings.
Today, most schools have a website. Whether the website is useful to the specific family needs at the school is the real question. Does the site serve as simply an information storage bank or does it offer two-way communication and an opportunity to build a relationship with the school? How do you know? Have parents been part of the team creating the website? Has your school considered a mobile app for parents? For us, once we collected data identifying that 63% of our families were using a mobile device to access school communications, we ventured down the road to a mobile app.
Referring back to the 6 Types of Involvement (Epstein 2011), does your school website/mobile app offer online support for every “type” detailed below?
TYPE 1–PARENTING: Assist families with parenting and child-rearing skills, understanding child and adolescent development, and setting home conditions that support children as students at each age and grade level. Assist schools in understanding families.
TYPE 2–COMMUNICATING: Communicate with families about school programs and student progress through effective school-to-home and home-to-school communications.
TYPE 3–VOLUNTEERING: Improve recruitment, training, work, and schedules to involve families as volunteers and audiences at the school or in other locations to support students and school programs.
TYPE 4–LEARNING AT HOME: Involve families with their children in learning activities at home, including homework and other curriculum-linked activities and decisions.
TYPE 5–DECISION MAKING: Include families as participants in school decisions, governance, and advocacy through PTA/PTO, school councils, committees, and other parent organizations.
TYPE 6–COLLABORATING WITH THE COMMUNITY: Coordinate resources and services for families, students, and the school with businesses, agencies, and other groups, and provide services to the community.
Join us this Wednesday, February 20th at 9PM EDT/6PST as together we’ll work to make our websites and mobile apps as comprehensive and two-way as possible.