School:Wahroonga Adventist School
Years: Prep to Y12
SkoolBag Customer Since: June 2017
Features Used: Instant Notifications, Content Groups, Private Groups, Staff Groups, Document Sharing, Event Management, Permissions Management (eForms), Bulk Emails, Newsletters.
SkoolBag Account Contact: Chris Riley, Year 5/6 Teacher & eLearning Coordinator
Usage frequency: Several times per week
What problems were you looking to solve when you implemented SkoolBag School App?
Our school is currently expanding into a Prep to Year 12 school which commenced with Year 7 in 2016.
One of the areas we were looking to improve upon was in the level of engagement amongst lower primary school parents. We were aware of a level of angst and anxiety from parents due to a feeling of disconnection with what was happening in the classroom.
We recognised the need to improve communications and wanted to increase community engagement, parent participation and satisfaction by opening a “window into school life”.
Why did you choose SkoolBag over other communication options?
Previously we had relied on newsletters and email for communications, which led to a one-size-fits-all approach that did cater for more regular, personalised updates from different staff members. So we were looking for a solution that could provide tailored messages and real time updates within a “complete” communication platform.
We considered tools that solely focused on classroom journalling, however these tend to lack the ‘whole school” approach that we needed to meet our needs as a K12 school.
Facebook was also considered a potential solution, however we decided that it lacked the level of content control and professional approach we were looking for. We also know that many staff members and parents were not on the platform so it was not a viable solution.
SkoolBag met our requirements in terms a robust feature set within a professional and easily customisable solution.
What’s most valuable aspects of SkoolBag, from your perspective?
The ease of setup and use is hugely valuable. We have close to 50 staff members using the platform so it’s fantastic that it’s so easy to use.
We also value having complete control over who can access different sections of the app. The Content Groups feature lets you control access by password or invitation which is important when sharing updates at a classroom level. We can send targeted message via the app, but also have email notifications as another channel for important updates.
The customisable eForms are also great. They allow us to gather permissions from parents directly in the app which has led to much better response rates.
What results have you seen? What’s been the feedback from parents?
We’ve seen far better response rates and positive engagement from parents. They’re really onboard with the app - and seem more comfortable knowing what is happening at school and in the classroom. As they’re more in touch with what students are working on - we’ve seen that they generally more happier and more satisfied with school life. We’re hoping that this in turn has a positive impact on students’ learning.