January 15, 2019
In the latest installment of the Education Opportunity Project Spotlight, Voqal Education Program Director Vinny Badolato highlights a recent investee of the project, School Deets.
Denver-based School Deets is a school communications app designed for easy, whole school communication with a special emphasis on improving communications for non-English speaking parents.
Integrating parents into the school community and the education of their child through open communication is a major factor for improving opportunity. It builds a deep sense of agency regarding the education of the child and a greater sense of belonging. Universal access is essential for building an inclusive school community that supports the learning of all children and helps parents feel connected to their child’s educational experience.
Unfortunately, the state of school communication today is generally a byzantine mess that leaves even the most engaged parents feeling lost. School communication typically looks like this (using my own experience as an example): multiple emails sent weekly, and sometimes daily, from administration, teachers and support staff; different teachers utilizing a variety of apps based on their preferences (that parents are then forced to learn); the school posting to its website or many district sites to convey information; and scores of papers that sometimes fail to find their way into a parent’s hands in a timely fashion. This is overwhelming, inefficient and ineffective. This is particularly problematic for disadvantaged students, especially non-English speaking families, that are practically cut off from the school and classroom community.
School Deets’ mission is to foster universal access to the school for all parents and families. It streamlines the school to home communication experience so that parents have one consistent place to find all of the items related to school communication and family resources outside of school. School Deets uses school communication goals and profiles within the application to ensure that school personnel are communicating appropriate information to parents in a timely and consistent manner. The platform is data-driven, providing analytics to understand how parents are using the application and to determine which community resources are the most important while tracking connection rates to achieve high parent adoption and help schools to reach parents that have not connected.
Perhaps most importantly, the company is very focused on non-English speaking families. School Deets reduces language barriers through machine and human translation features, utilizing bi- or multi-lingual teachers and school staff to create messages in the native language and translate native language messages back to English. The app is also localized to meet the specific needs of all parents, with an added emphasis on non-English speaking parents, linking with community resources and local businesses that cater to the particular school population.
School Deets seeks to be the one-stop shop for all the important resources and information parents need to be connected to their school, community and child’s educational experience. Learn more at www.schooldeets.com.