June 13th, 2022

A Successful First Year: Chicago Public Schools – John Charles Haines Elementary School

In our quickly shifting environment, it can be hard for families to feel personally connected to and build long-term relationships with one another and the staff at their schools. In Chicago Public Schools, John Charles Haines Elementary School has had a great year. Its success is largely due to the decision to incorporate a digital app for communication that empowered schools and families to build consistent, engaging, and meaningful interaction.

Communication and engagement success

Haines Elementary School was able to successfully interact with families by using digital platform features that promoted high activation and engagement rates and encouraged guardians to initiate conversations.

According to Connie Lee, assistant principal at John Charles Haines Elementary School, “SchoolCNXT made the adoption and rollout process very easy. We love the continual support and quick responses in communication with the school. The platform is easy to use. Parents, guardians, and teachers love the available language translation feature to help support communication.”

High activation rates and engagement rate

John Charles Haines Elementary School, part of the Chicago Public Schools system, experienced great success in using this program for the first time in the 2021-2022 school year. With over 570 students (34% of which are considered Limited English Learners), Haines Elementary has historically struggled to connect to each of its families between classes in a consistent manner. But this year, by using a communication app, they have made great strides, documenting over 12,000 interactions with posts on weekdays.

Useful for ESL families and non-English speakers

In fact, English was not the leading language used for activations this year in the school — the most common language used was Chinese. Other languages used by Haines Elementary families included Spanish, Arabic, and Vietnamese. However, the variety of languages hardly scratches the surface of the program’s potential. In total, over 100 language options are available. Further, disability inclusion tools such as text-to-talk and dictation services make communication even easier for more families, just as they did at Haines.

Lets guardians initiate conversations

The solution has been highly successful at Haines Elementary since guardians are reaching out to staff instead of waiting for staff to reach out to them, showing that they are empowered to become active stakeholders in their children’s education. 

Digital app features

The digital app is a secure communication platform that seeks to address schools’ and families’ communication needs while targeting common barriers to a connection, such as lack of access, language support, and literacy skills. It provides an easy way to share daily updates and school news from staff. It also lets families participate in two-way messaging and plan events together.

Over 10 years, the app’s developer has ensured the program is as inclusive as possible, adding user-friendly supports such as language translation tools and disability integration tools. The company believes that if they can create a foundation of inclusion and 100% of their community members feel comfortable engaging, that will be reflected in student success.

SchoolCNXT can help

Whether by reading a post, sending a ‘like’, publishing a news update, or engaging in two-way messaging, SchoolCNXT provides many user-friendly ways for families to interact with educational content and with each other on a regular basis. Could SchoolCNXT be the communication platform your school needs to take virtual relationship-building to the next level this back-to-school season? Visit us to learn more.

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