A district-wide equity and diversity plan is commonplace across the country. It’s also federally required for those schools receiving Title I funding to adhere to guidelines in The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in order to protect low-income and minority students in schools. Making sure that information and communications are available between parents, students, and schools is essential. And it’s vital to ensure that – regardless of circumstances such as language diversity, education level, comfort with technology, and more – everyone can access this communication interchange. So, as a district leader, you need to ensure that your communication is sensitive, capable, and accessible regarding any barriers that impact equitable family engagement in your schools.
What are the barriers to consistent communication?
While there are a number of barriers that a district could face in reaching their parents and students, at SchoolCNXT, we have found that there are three consistent challenges:
- Language barriers: The majority of communication applications only focus on English and Spanish audiences, however this leaves hundreds of languages unaddressed and thousands of people in the dark.
- Adult literacy barriers: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 43M U.S. adults are illiterate or possess low literacy skills – representing around 22% of the overall adult population.
- Access barriers: Contact information such as phone numbers, emails, and home addresses are constantly changing, leaving many districts struggling to ensure they have the updated information. Without a simple log in, messages can be missed and potentially sensitive information could be mis-delivered.
With these barriers in mind, each message that is sent but not received is a missed opportunity for a parent to have a seat at the table. It is another missed chance for a valuable voice to be heard.
How SchoolCNXT can help every family feel connected:
SchoolCNXT is the equitable communication hub that connects everyone in the school district – administrators, teachers, students, and families. There is no doubt that when districts experience successes with equitable guardian engagement – families feel involved, students experience increased success, and district staff perform better.
How to connect each family:
- Translation to 100+ Languages – Users can translate all the content into their preferred language for clear two-way communication and to overcome language barriers.
- Text-To-Speech Capabilities – All information can be read aloud in the user’s preferred language or you can dictate your message to help with any adult literacy barriers that may exist. This feature also allows for direct communication between families and schools at any time.
- Uninterrupted Accessibility – While some methods of communication rely on phone numbers, email addresses and other contact information, the in-app nature of our solution removes the dependency on that ever-changing information. With SchoolCNXT, parents will always have access to their accounts – and you will always have access to all parents.
- Equitable Onboarding – We strive to reach 100% activation so every family in your district is engaged. We provide a multi-pronged approach to activation, which ensures that the first point of contact is in their preferred languages and includes SMS/email invitations, printed invitations and a parent registration link. All parents then have access to activation, regardless of the accuracy of contact information in the SIS – this drastically boosts activation across all demographics in each district.
Administrative Tools for District Leadership
Along with tools to help communication for families, SchoolCNXT provides a secure data/analytics platform to give more insight to teachers and administrators.
- Advanced analytics to track engagement.
- Robust and flexible permissioning system.
- Ability to send district-wide posts.
- Emergency alerts with translation and text-to-speech capabilities.
- Post and message moderation.
See how SchoolCNXT can transform your district dynamic.