As schools are wrapping up the 19-20 school year, many principals and administrators are already looking at the upcoming 20-21 cycle and trying to prepare for it. Even with all the uncertainty around back-to-school in this COVID-19 situation, schools administrators are already planning, particularly as it relates to budgets and spend. Fortunately, thanks to Congress passing legislation to help the economic recovery, also known as the CARES Act, schools know there is some help in the form of funding coming their way.
The CARES act provides different funding to support education, from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (CARES Act Section 18002), to the ESSER or Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (CARES Act Section 18003). If you want to read more, District Administration has a good breakdown of what's included in this legislation.
CARES Act Section 18003(d)(9) details the support to schools for purchasing educational technology like Bloomz. It reads:
Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students who are served by the local educational agency that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and students with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
Under the ESSER fund, school districts and local schools are able to acquire technology and add resources directed at remote learning. Having the best technology in the hands of students, parents, and educators will make a huge difference going into the new school year.
Bloomz can provide a complete set of resources to support school communities, including the unique needs of low-income children, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities. Even before the new school cycle, Bloomz can also be used in support of Summer learning and supplemental after school programs and the organizations that support that learning.
Having said all that, there are other ways schools can fund Bloomz Premium. Here are a few of the creative ways other schools have done it:
- PTA/PTO funding support for all or part of the annual cost: PTA/PTO's mission is typically aligned to better parental engagement so the majority of them support Bloomz with funding. Plus, the PTA/PTO can fully utilize the Bloomz app with no additional cost so that you can truly unify all the communications in one app for your entire school.
- Title 1 funds: If you are a Title 1 school, you may be aware that Title 1 funding has direct support for parental engagement initiatives. Bloomz will give you a tremendous return on investment of your Title 1 funds for your school. You can use the Bloomz Engagement Dashboard to demonstrate the results and justify future funding.
- Fundraisers: Some schools conduct specific fundraisers from parents to support the initiative of building better communication between teachers and parents. Since parents see the direct value from Bloomz, this can be a successful approach.
- Private schools incrementally increase tuition: If you are a private school or childcare center, your parents may be willing to accept the additional costs that translates into better visibility and access to their child's environment. Also, please note that in the free Bloomz version, parents could upgrade for $19.99 per year for features like downloading media, but Bloomz Premium includes all that at no additional costs to parents.
- Shore up paper and ink costs: Shane Knight at Knapp Elementary was delighted to save over $30,000 in just one year by moving all their communications off of flyers and onto Bloomz Premium. If you are still heavily relying on paper-based communications, you can expect similar savings for your school. You can still print any communications from Bloomz easily for those few parents that still need paper-communications while saving costs for the majority of your communications.
- Consolidate other app costs: With Bloomz, you can replace over 12 different tools that may actually be causing more disengagement at your school. If you are paying for any of them or similar tools, Bloomz may save you costs by unifying all tools in one app to increase parental engagement.
If you still run into budget constraints, do not hesitate to talk to us. We'll do our very best to accommodate your community. Our mission is to help every school increase parental engagement, saving educators time and without administrative burden.