As the Community Manager of Bloomz, you can often find me hanging out on the internet searching for new articles and data surrounding what we do. Teacher articles are plentiful. Tech Ed information is flourishing. But type in “parental engagement” and you will be hard pressed to find new information pertaining to the subject. There was a surge of great information between 2010-2012, and then nothing. It felt like everyone said- “We know engaging parents is beneficial to classroom communities, so why keep writing about it”?
So imagine my delight when I tempted fate again by typing in those two words into Google the other day, only to find something new! I came across an article that was published on June 2, 2015 titled, “Parent Engagement on Rise as Priority of Schools, Districts” by Karla Scoon Reid.
This article was an amazing read. She brings attention to the way in which the need for greater parent communication is starting to change school systems altogether. Positions and departments are being systematically created to meet the needs of today’s parents. She says, “In the past seven years, large and mid-sized school districts such as Denver and Nashville have created positions and departments specifically geared toward parent involvement, with a concurrent growth in related organizations, increased attendance at conferences, and a heightened interest from some philanthropic groups to fund parent-engagement efforts.”
Not only are positions being created (which raises employment opportunities), states are now starting to adopt parent engagement as part of formal teacher evaluations. Here is an example of Massachusetts who has now added parent engagement into their Massachusetts Model System for Educator Evaluation. (found here)
And if that wasn’t exciting enough, she goes on to point out that “at the federal level, the U.S. Department of Education released a family- and community-engagement model in 2014 to encourage school districts and states to adopt parent-engagement efforts linked directly to student learning.”
We are starting to see resources for parents, organizations to build the momentum… Karla Scoon Reid does an amazing job in her article painting a picture of a growing trend that is starting to pick up speed and take off. So hold on to your hats, it is going to be an amazing ride!
I was so thankful to have found Bloomz as a teacher. In a time where it is harder and harder to reach parents, Bloomz addresses these needs head on in a way that is simple, and easy for communities of all types to adopt. Reaching parents instantly on their phones and desktops with class updates, photo sharing, event planning and volunteer management, Bloomz communities are thriving and more connected than ever before. In my own classroom, we also have parent communication requirements. Now instead of lengthy emails and parent meetings I take a few minutes each day to send a quick update, or use the two way messaging feature to send a quick note to parents. It has saved me dozens of hours focusing on parent communication in the evenings. Bloomz is the epitome of “Work Smarter, Not Harder.” I am even more thankful to now be a part of the Bloomz team, where I get to help other teachers find this amazing tool.
If you would like to see how Bloomz makes parental engagement a breeze, check out www.bloomz.net and sign up for a free account today.