2016: Year in Review

As we exhale the past and inhale the future, let's take some time to reflect on the year gone by, our accomplishments that we are happy about, challenges that we faced, and let our past prepare us for the year ahead.

While we have plenty of exciting things in store for you next year and will briefly touch on that today, I'd like to reflect for a moment on how far we've come in 2016.

Product Improvements
In addition to hundreds of little improvements, we launched a few really big features as well:

I have a question for my child's teacher!

This launch brought private messaging to real-time conversations via the app or web. Users can now carry on a conversation via app or web, get notified instantly of new messages via email, text or app notifications and include pictures into the conversation. 

Can ParentSquare Translate in Hmong? Haitian Creole anyone?

ParentSquare now can translate in over a 100 languages supported by Google Translate. You can also edit the Google Translated message before sending it out.

¿Tiene ParentSquare una aplicación en español?

Sí, lo hace! The mobile apps keep getting better. Not only can parents now experience ParentSquare in Spanish on their iPhones and Android Phones, but they can also RSVP, add events to their device calendar, set preferences, chat real-time and clear absences! 

Why use Attendance and Lunch Balance in ParentSquare?

Send automatic notices via voice call, text message, or email and save your staff countless hours on attendance, lunch balance and library books due calls. Parents can directly respond to attendance notices explaining student absences.  

Other user-centric releases include 

  • New Mobile-Friendly Design for Website

  • Private comments and replies

  • ParentSquare posts for districts (along with Smart Alerts)

  • Class gift for teachers (Posts to parents only)

  • SIS Integrations now include PowerSchool, Aeries, Illuminate, School Pathways, Q along with SFTP Integration 

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Fresh Content
We brought you webinars and fresh content to inspire you to engage your community. We plan on bringing a lot more content to you in 2017, sharing regular posts from school leaders that use ParentSquare, featured guest blogs, slides and infographics.

Webinar

Bob Bourgault is one of my personal favorite school leaders. His stories motivates each one of his listeners. Start 2017 by watching this webinar: 7 Effective Habits for Building an Engaged Parent Community.

For more food for thought go over some of our other favorites

What's Next
When we set priorities for ParentSquare, our goal is to create something useful for our schools and school community. I’d like to share all the new additions and enhancements on our roadmap that we’re really excited about.

Payment Integration

Work is already underway on Payments and very soon you will be able to accept payments right from ParentSquare - for field trips, events, spirit wear, PTA dues and more. 

Dashboards, Reports and more Reports

We are going crazy about analytics, so you can easily drive outcomes based on data. We not only intend to provide granular reports but also also human-readable recommendations in 2017 so you can take action on the data

  • SIS Data Visualization: What gets imported in ParentSquare for Class rosters, Student info, Staff, Teacher and Parent contact, how to check and keep updated

  • Errors and Discrepancies in Parent Contact Data: With easy printable recommendations so you can reach 100% parents

  • Attendance Dashboard: View and reduce absenteeism rates and reduce chronic cases.

  • Weekly Reports: So you can see how communication and engagement at your school.

We want to give you reports on things you care about so hit the reply button and let us know what data you would like to see.

Other notable items on our roadmap. 

  • Ready-to-use Template Messages in Smart Alerts with human translations

  • Integration making School SupplyLists available as a checklist and for fulfillment

  • ParentSquare Launch Kit for schools with banners, posters, printable handouts 

  • Gradebook Integration for one-stop view for parents, if we can squeeze it in 2017 :)

  • Homework Assignment for teachers, easy homework calendar for parents and reporting for admins to assess homework load.

Looking forward to 2017 and all it has to offer. I am excited to have so many amazing schools on board and hope to have many more join the progression towards building a strong collaborative school community as we launch into the new year!

With best wishes from Santa Barbara, CA
Anu
Founder, ParentSquare