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Kinvolved Announces Winners of the First Leadership Spotlight Awards

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May 6, 2019—New York, NY: Kinvolved, the leader in software and services proven to reduce chronic absenteeism and boost daily attendance, today announced the winners of the first Kinvolved Leadership Spotlight Awards. This prestigious honor celebrates NYCDOE users who leverage the company’s KiNVO attendance management and family communications software to bring about positive changes in their communities.

“I want to extend a huge congratulations to the Kinvolved Leadership Spotlight awardees,” says Miriam Altman, co-founder and CEO of Kinvolved. “We’re so impressed and empowered by the work that you do for our students and families every single day.”

Nineteen individuals across twelve schools in the New York City Department of Education, covering Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan, have been singled out for their passionate dedication to enhancing family engagement as a pathway toward student success.

Awardees in their own words

“I’m always thinking about ways to reach out to my students and their parents,” says Esther Nyako of Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Diploma Plus High School. “Students are my key focus. What can I do to get them to the classroom?” For her and her fellow awardees, Kinvolved’s KiNVO web and mobile app has been invaluable, allowing her to more easily connect with parents who are hard to reach due to irregular schedules, work commitments, or language barriers.

Another awardee, Augustus Grissett, Jr., from Brooklyn’s Research and Service High School, says of KiNVO, “We found another angle to show parents that you actually care: giving wake-up calls, texting them directly, letting them have that ongoing, back-and-forth conversation.” In addition to using the KiNVO smartphone app as a single interface for managing attendance data and delivering push notifications to parents about attendance and communications activity, Mr. Grissett is also able to use the platform to communicate with his diverse parent community: messages sent through the platform can be translated into more than eighty languages and require no parent or student login for two-way communications.

The engaged administrators and educators Kinvolved has honored this year see the school–home connection as a key part of removing obstacles to student success. “If you are aware and you communicate, you can get through any situation out there,” says Venus Herrera of Manhattan’s Urban Assembly Maker Academy. “If you’re not aware, you will have literally no idea what to do. And if you don’t communicate, then other people won’t know what to do. So definitely that’s a guiding philosophy.”

Awardees share with the company a recognition that getting students to class is the key determinant of future success. Kinvolved built its KiNVO app to empower teachers like awardee Jaron Serven of Manhattan’s High School for Environmental Studies to communicate early and often with students’ families, especially in cases where students may be struggling due to any number of linguistic, socioeconomic, or environmental factors. “They’re good kids, all of them, even the ones who struggle,” says Mr. Serven. “That’s the thing that hurts me the most. They’re all good, they’re all wonderful, in their own way. It just takes one person to see that.”

Winners of Leadership Spotlight Awards are those very individual educators and administrators who see the potential of every student; the way they use KiNVO inspires Kinvolved to continue its work of building software and services that facilitate the promotion of family engagement and, hence, student achievement.

Read Miriam Altman’s interview with The Native Influence

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“This industry is a tough one to change, but it is worth the effort. Stay focused on the end goal: positive impact on students and families. Be persistent, focused, and humble. Keep your nose to the grindstone, but take a moment to look up every once in a while to see the progress you’ve made. And, collaborate. There is so much work to do as an industry, and so many smart, committed people trying to do their part. If we partnered more often, we could really amplify our impact in ways we may not yet even realize.”

Kinvolved CEO and co-founder Miriam Altman recently sat down with The Native Influence for a conversation about her career in education and the role that Kinvolved plays in supporting positive family engagement that builds healthy school communities.

In this interview you’ll learn:

  • What inspired the need for Kinvolved and the vision for changing student success trajectories
  • How and why the education technology landscape has changed in the last ten years and emerging industry trends she sees on the horizon
  • How strong, collaborative partnerships in Providence, RI reduced the chronic absenteeism rate
  • Career advice for those in the education technology field
Read the full conversation

DNAinfo: App Helps Track Truancy in Harlem Classrooms

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DNAinfo highlights how Kinvolved helps boost attendance rates in Harlem classrooms and in at-risk and low-performing districts.

“This is about meeting parents where they are in the 21st Century,” P.S. 125 Principal Reginald Higgins told DNAinfo New York. “Parents are overwhelmed with phone calls and emails, so Kinvolved is very easy with text messaging.”

Read the full story here.

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