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inaugural Attendance Summit

Kinvolved’s Attendance Summit Recap

By Events


On Friday, January 27, Kinvolved and South Bronx Rising Together (a joint Children’s Aid Society and Phipps Neighborhoods initiative) co-hosted the 2017 NYC Summit on Family Involvement to Elevate Attendance at Bronx Leadership Academy II High School.

The event brought together 130 school and district leaders, school attendance and family involvement teams, nonprofit partners, and policy and research advocates.

Beginning  with motivating remarks from our leadership of the event’s co-hosts, attendees then moved into three breakout sessions:

In-The-Trenches to Bird’s-Eye-View: Policy, Research, and Practice

A panel discussion on current research and policy work related to attendance improvement and increased family engagement in NYC schools. 

  • Michael Alcoff, NYCDOE Renewal High Schools Superintendent
  • Michelle Kim, Policy Associate, Office of the Public Advocate of the City of New York
  • Nicole Mader, Senior Policy Researcher, The Center for NYC Affairs

KiNVO by Kinvolved: Let’s Elevate Attendance Together

An open forum tailored for both current and prospective users on how KiNVO can improve school attendance.

  • 05M36 Margaret Douglas
  • 07X547 New Explorers High School
  • 09X412 Bronx High School of Business
  • 07X527 Bronx Leadership Academy II High School

South Bronx Rising Together: Going “All In On Attendance” in the Heart of the South Bronx

A workshop on data trends at individual schools in Community District 3 (the geographic zone for SBRT) and resources to kick-start attendance improvement efforts through the end of the year.

  • Abe Fernandez, Co- Director, South Bronx Rising Together, Director of Collective Impact, Children’s Aid Society
  • Leaders of  school and organization members

During sessions, participants exchanged best practices, engaged in lively discussion, developed solutions to tangible challenges, and networked with like-minded practitioners and experts. The event concluded with lunch and concluding remarks by Letitia James, Public Advocate of the City of New York.

A Brooklyn native, James shared her own story as a shy, bright child, who hid away in her books, and found a safe place in the stacks of her school’s library. She explained how easy it would have been to slip by, one in a family of eight children. She described how her second grade teacher changed her life by nurturing her promising qualities. She expressed her personal connection to the students in New York City’s schools, and called upon educators to find those with promise, and to bring out the best in them.

James discussed the work of her office to fight for children in homelessness and foster care. She charged that schools have a critical role in caring for these children by connecting them with community resources that can help them. She acknowledged that teachers might not have signed up to be social workers, but they are. With a few words, they can brighten a child’s day, and make sure they are cared for. She outlined the horrible increase in homelessness among New York City’s youth, up 22% just since the last school year.


She asked everyone in the room to stand up, fight for, and protect our most vulnerable children. She implored that, as New Yorkers, we cannot separate immigrants from the rest of our community, because they are so vital and embedded. When we go back to our schools and communities, take forth these charges, and keep fighting for our students and families. It will be hard work, and it will take a long time to change, but by working together and coming together at occasions like this, we will make change.

This is our first annual NYC Summit. We aim to hold several smaller local events around the city throughout the year, in the effort to galvanize a movement of people who will elevate attendance by involving families in education. New York City has a special place for Kinvolved. It is our hometown, but we aim to bring this model to other urban centers across the country, and invite other communities to join our movement in their own local way.

View our summit photo library here here (use password: nycattendancesunmit if prompted).

To learn more about Kinvolved’s movement to elevate attendance by including families in education, or how to bring KiNVO to your school, contact us at hello@kinvolved.com.

To learn more about South Bronx Rising Together’s collective impact initiatives to improve education and economic opportunity in the South Bronx, contact us at info@risingtogether.org.


2017 NYC Summit on Family Involvement to Elevate Attendance

By Events

On Friday, January 27th, from 10am-1pm, Kinvolved and South Bronx Rising Together (a joint Children’s Aid Society and Phipps initiative) are co-hosting the 2017 NYC Summit on Family Involvement to Elevate Attendance at Bronx Leadership Academy II High School.

With 200 already confirmed attendees, and a keynote by the NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, the event will bring together school-based teams, superintendents, Community and Renewal Schools community-based organization partners, and policy and research leaders focused on increasing attendance and family involvement throughout the NYCDOE.

Additional speakers include:

  • Michael Alcoff, NYCDOE Renewal Schools Superintendent
  • Michelle Kim, Policy Associate, Office of the Public Advocate
  • Nicole Mader, Senior Research Fellow, Center for NYC Affairs
  • Peter Bergman, Assistant Professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Attendees will be able to:

  • Share general best practices to elevate attendance and family involvement
  • Engage with/learn about South Bronx Rising Together and Kinvolved
  • Hear from leading local researchers and policy leaders Network over lunch with fellow leaders in these fields

Elevating attendance requires commitment, collaboration, and tailored approaches to the particular strengths and challenges of each school or community. With this event, we hope to increase awareness about the important role that school attendance plays in attaining academic success, and create family involvement strategies together as a community.  

To learn more about the event, or for press inquiries, contact hello@kinvolved.com.

Kinvolved Technology

Building Kinvolved’s Technology with Empathy

By ThoughtsNo Comments

September marks not only the beginning of the school year, but also a time when we share new features with our Kinvolved community.

We’ve listened to every sentiment that you’ve shared–both words of delight and suggestions for improvement.

A 2015 survey of over 100 Kinvolved teachers in NYC showed that use of Kinvolved’s app had a significant positive impact on family engagement, both in terms of quality of communication and frequency of communication. Specifically:

  • 88% of teachers agreed that Kinvolved improved their communication with parents
  • 69% stated that using Kinvolved increased the frequency of parent communication
  • 66% noted that parents were easier to reach using Kinvolved’s text function

AM graph 1

Teachers also reported that they’re seeking:   

  • A better way to track communication efforts within Kinvolved’s app
  • Translated messages to break down language barriers that persist in high needs communities
  • More granular details about attendance data and messaging related to attendance

Kinvolved has listened, and new features include:

  • Pre-translated message templates
  • Improved attendance data page with views of subgroups of students based on attendance trends, and ability to send messages to each subgroup
  • More robust communication tracking system that conveys pulse checks regarding positive and negative messaging

We’re eager to hear what you think of these new features, and what additional features you’d like to see.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.15.00 AM

We’re all in this together, with the shared belief that technology tools can be part of a systemic change for our children. We’re starting by messaging families, but we know that each day, with each message, we make a significant impact in the lives of teachers, students, and parents across the nation.

How can we do this better? Email me directly with your feedback or ideas at Alexandra@Kinvolved.com.

Alex is a co-founder of Kinvovled, and serves as Chief Product Officer. Previously, Alex worked in the South Bronx, advocating for and educating families of children with special needs. Alex is a 2012 Education Pioneers Fellow, where she worked with Teach For America and Leadership for Educational Equity developing scalable eLearning platforms. She holds an MPA in Health Policy and Analysis from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, and a BA in Psychology and minor in Anthropology and Sociology from Lafayette College.

Parent outreach: The hot new trend in boosting student performance! (Part 2 of 3)

By Tips and Resources

Tips for Successful Partnerships with Families, Part II

This is the second part of a three-part series of best practices, written by Michele Narov, Lead Teacher in Newark Public Schools.

Kinvolved’s communication app helps teachers reach parents and other members of students’ support networks to foster relationships. How can teachers make sure these relationships are positive and that the communication app is used to reach full impact?

 Tip #6: Gather all the information before you call.

If you are calling a parent about something that happened when you were not present, or some sort of behavior, consult with your students, and make sure you have all the information beforehand. This is pretty much a no-brainer, but during my first year of teaching I called a parent about a student who was squinting at the board only to learn this child brought glasses to school every day but was leaving them in his backpack. His parent was still happy I called to inform her that her son wasn’t wearing glasses, but a few more probing questions with my student would have given me a better picture of the problem.

Similarly, if I need to call about an ongoing issue between two students, I make sure to gather the full picture of events based on specific accounts from both students so it doesn’t turn into a conversation based on hearsay.

Kinvolved - marina villela photography-216-1

 Tip #7: Come up with a plan.

A few weeks ago, I had to call the parent of a student in my class who was constantly daydreaming and off task during the beginning of class and introductions to new material, despite constant personal reminders.

Before I called, I spoke with my student and together she and I came up with a plan to move her seat closer to the front of the room, and make sure she filled in her notes at the beginning of class. When I called her mom, I was able to say this is what is happening, and here is how I’m handling it, with a list of expected results her daughter and I had decided on together. Communicating your plan to deal with the issue can help make sure your conversation is productive.

Make sure to ask parents for feedback. Sometimes, if you don’t pose the question, “What are your thoughts on this?” parents won’t volunteer their opinions, or may assume you are not consulting them. They are experts on their children, and often their feedback on your plan to address a behavior can be most vital.

Don’t feel pressure to get back to them about their feedback during the course of the call. It’s okay to say that you would like to consider their comments and get back to them.

Tip #8: Monitor success and report back

Monitor the students’ behavior after your parent phone call. Note specifically what is changing for the student and how they are behaving. Report back to the parent about how their student is doing, even with a quick message or text. This feedback can be a very valuable follow up and encourage the student to continue working hard, especially for younger students who are learning the difference between positive and negative classroom behaviors.

Kinvolved - marina villela photography-471-1

Tip #9: Ask for feedback on your communication methods

You shouldn’t overwhelm your parents with requests for feedback, but checking in during the middle of the year with a survey on your communication style isn’t much of a demand on their time and can be very useful. Also, during parent teacher conferences, it never hurts to ask parents if there are any updates they would like to receive that they are not receiving already.

Research shows that just because parents can’t always be present in the classroom doesn’t mean they don’t want to be involved. In my classroom, I have found that systematically reaching out to parents has affected my students’ performance data nearly as much as my academic interventions have. How are you making parent communication a priority in your classroom or school program?

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 6.27.51 PM

Contributor: Michele Narov was Kinvolved’s Summer Business Development Associate. She was responsible for developing and fostering partnerships with schools, after school programs, and community organizations dedicated to improving student success. Michele is a Teach For America corps member, and serves as a third grade math and science teacher at Camden Street Elementary School in Newark, NJ.

© 2019 Kinvolved™. All Rights Reserved, Kinvolved Inc.