This blog post is part of our “Guide to Family Partnerships” series, based on the stories we collected while assembling our 2016–2017 Impact Report.
When parents try to reach a teacher or administrator over the phone, they’ll likely reach a phone ringing at an empty desk or have to leave a message that won’t be received until after dismissal. The resulting games of phone tag cause frustration and can undermine important relationships.
“If you call my desk, you’d never reach me,” says Harlem dean Mr. W., who is constantly away from his office and walking around the building providing student support.
Educator perspectives on how Kinvolved helps
KiNVO makes it easier for parents to reach school staff during their hectic days. For Mr. W., this close connection strengthens relationships: “Through text, I’ll get it and be able to text back. You’re not waiting until the end of the day to get what you need.”
Educators can also reach parents in real time, without being intrusive, via KiNVO’s text messaging feature, ensuring parents get the information they need no matter where they are. Mr. G., a guidance counselor in the Bronx, described being able to get in touch with a mother as soon as he realized her child was cutting class. When the parent saw the text, she called Mr. G. “from her cell phone, while standing on a street corner”—and solving the problem did not have to wait “until she got home and saw a missed call.”
With KiNVO, Ms. S. at a Brooklyn high school appreciates that she can ping parents when a tardy student shows up. “As soon as they come in, I take out my phone and send a quick message: ‘Just walking in.’ It takes ten seconds and it’s something I wasn’t able to do before.”
Putting it into practice
- At the end of each day, sort by unread messages your Kinbox—your KiNVO message inbox—to be sure you reply to anything that may have slipped through the cracks.
- Pro tip: To save time, sign up for daily notifications of unread messages.
- Create in KiNVO a template bank of your commonly used messages, then simply customize your notes with the student’s name before sending.
- Perform and narrate your KiNVO activities, such as swiping to take attendance or texting a positive message to parents, in front of your class. This will help you develop a routine while also building student investment in what you’re doing.