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MIS Systems Thread, School Messaging Systems in Technical; Possibly the wrong place to post this but hey!!! What do you guys use school comms for, as at our ...
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    School Messaging Systems

    Possibly the wrong place to post this but hey!!! What do you guys use school comms for, as at our school only one person (the attendance officer) uses it and i have built an alternative to it and wondered how we could expand the use of it :>

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    This might be best split onto another thread but here are my thoughts for you. Parent messaging systems (such as SchoolComms, and I will use that as an example all the way through, but others systems can do similar tasks) are not just about attendance. They are part of school marketing and parental engagement.

    Here are a few examples that I give when speaking with schools about it.

    School newsletter - you will find some school who print out the newsletter and hand it out to the children, only for it to become detritus in the playground, accidentally dropped on the way home or just left in the bottom of the school bag for months on end. You can use something like schoolcomms to automatically email the newsletter out. A more savvy school might opt not to email it out, but to email / SMS that the news letter is now available for download (and include a link to the location) to help encourage parents to visit the school website ... and hopefully get them to look at other things too.

    School trips - most teachers / tutors / office staff will give a resigned sigh when I mention letting parents know about school trips. The hassle of getting parental consent forms back, of getting payment ... resulting in that phonecall to the parents who actually know nothing about the trip. You can let them know about trips, send reminders about getting paperwork back in and so on ... as well as last minute reminders about making sure that little Johnny / Janet comes with the right kit / food / etc.

    Exams - It can sometimes be difficult to get information out of teenagers ... and whilst that may seem like a stereotype, little things like exam timetables / revision sessions / etc sometimes don't make there way home. By letting parents know that the timetable is now live means that they can ask their son/daughter about it when they get home from school that day. You can use the system to send out reminders of which exam is on which day for students who may need extra support with this.

    Extra-curricular activities - often you will see systems like Schoolcomms used to promote the school play, or the results from sports matches ... but if you are trying to use it to help parents and children talk to each other why not send out notice about the auditions for the school play so parents can encourage their children, or for tryouts for the school teams, getting parents to come along too.

    So, just a few examples of making use of SMS and email facilities, which can be sent out on behalf of a variety of people, to parents and pupils / students.

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    john's Avatar
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    We use the text / email system for a few things:

    Reports & Progress Reviews issued (as they are paper based at present for all users) so they get a text saying reports have been sent home with students, thus prompting parents to ask for them / check in bags etc...
    Exam Timetables / key exam details - simple text for full school core exams to remind things like texts for english (if applicable), calculator for maths etc... all get sent out
    Key letters / events such as Parents Evenings, Fundraisers for the PTA etc... all get a quick e-mail / text

    We have had good feedback from all about the system which is good news

    We also use it for the inevitable (and first reason for buying it) Snow closures! Thats for both staff and students I always debate do I send to Staff or Student Groups first.....

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Glad John got in there with the Snow closures, that is instantly a bit hit with any of the messaging systems that are out there. Found that with my previous school, suddenly every parent wanted in on (Schoolcomms).

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    We have a SMS system enabled (as part of our MIS SchoolBase) but have resolved to use it only for emergencies; most other communications come through email via the MIS. Just about all teachers are using it in one way or another to communicate with parents.

    Our sports staff use the email contact systems very heavily - they tend to report back on the previous fixture and then give directions, parking advice, whatever as well as a match preview.

    Parents' association use the system too for advertising their various events and organising them. We don't give them access to the system directly (data protection) but instead send stuff out for them.

    Hugely useful in the build-up to big school trips - updates on plans, whatever; and sending out a reminder the day before a trip does sometime make sure the children turn up with the right kit!

    We've also used email to inform parents of forthcoming road closures and diversions.

    House staff are increasingly in the habit of sending a weekly bulletin


    The inevitable detention letters can be automated.

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    Thats great thank you :> Is everyone using School Comms. Has anyone built there own system? Ive built one using gammu and a php front end and some magic to get attendance data from sims .. but was wondering what else was out there ?

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    cromertech's Avatar
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    I've been looking into something like this D6 Technology - School Communicator. Is there anybody that uses it? It was actually referred to me by a pupil who came from a school in south africa that uses the system and it looks to be an easy way to get information out. (If we can persuade parents to install it of course!)

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    Gibbo's Avatar
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    We use "Keep Kids Safe". The name is a bit Helen Lovejoy but it works.

    Keep Kids Safe Communication Project – By schools for schools



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