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Spotlight: Meriden Public Schools

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“Family engagement remains our top priority. Even though we had a huge jump in attendance, we still need to focus on engaging and supporting our families. We improved a school that has many challenges, and to keep building on that momentum we need to continue focusing on strong teacher parent engagement and a climate and culture that puts students and parents first.”

—Dave Cardona, Family-School Liaison, Meriden Public Schools

Meriden Public Schools

When it came to attendance, Roger Sherman Elementary—a school in Connecticut’s Meriden district—was among the lowest performing schools in the district. Free and reduced lunch rates hover at 90 percent, and the school has a higher than-average special education population.

Despite these factors, along with severe weather conditions and a changing student demographic, between the 2016–2017 and 2017–2018 academic years the school decreased chronic absenteeism rates by over 10 percent, emerging as a district leader in student and family reengagement.

How did they do it?

Read how the Kinvolved team helped set and achieve positive family engagement goals

Spotlight: Sioux Falls School District

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“It’s important to make parents feel special, and KiNVO makes it easy to do that. As a result, parents who were once disengaged now feel like our school is home. These relationships support us when we need to have difficult conversations—we are a true partner to our families in these circumstances, not a consequence.”

—Jayne Zeilinsk, Principal, Sioux Falls School District

In Fall 2017, Kinvolved launched a four-school partnership with Sioux Falls School District, a South Dakota school system serving twenty-five thousand students.

The pilot unrolled in four stages:

  1. Engage with Kinvolved’s professional services team through strategy and information sessions to identify attendance needs and pain points; set up KiNVO to address the district’s primary objectives.
  2. Conduct a needs assessment to understand the barriers to student attendance.
  3. Launch KiNVO’s two-way, translated messaging tool to engage families.
  4. Roll out KiNVO’s attendance focused features; send attendance digests to families; conduct strategic interventions with target students.

As a result of careful planning and a staged rollout, every pilot school increased attendance rates and experienced positive shifts in their relationships with families.

Read more about the impact and results in Sioux Falls School District

Kinvolved Talks Social Impact at Twilio Engage

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We at Kinvolved were honored that co-founder and CEO Miriam Altman was invited to speak at the recent Twilio Engage conference in New York. Twilio.org is committed to the social impact of communications software, so we feel like they’re a kindred spirit. After all, our KiNVO software is all about using powerful, user-friendly technology to increase student achievement by eradicating chronic absenteeism.

Miriam presented before a group of four hundred attendees as part of Twilio Engage’s fireside chat program, sharing with attendees Kinvolved’s three-fold approach that blends attendance and engagement software with extensive coaching and community-wide learning events. Even better, following our presentation we connected with many inspiring organizations that, like Kinvolved, use communications software to drive social impact. One such organization was City Harvest, who is leveraging SMS to better achieve their goal of feeding hungry New Yorkers.

 

 

As a social enterprise, we are driven by the conviction that our KiNVO software, by helping communities unite to improve attendance, will ultimately drive student success. And we’re not alone—at events like this, we’re reminded that we’re just one of many organizations are leveraging communications technology to make a difference.

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.

Case Studies

How Providence Public Schools achieved early success and scaled it district-wide

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Chris Maher

“I’ve spoken with a number of school principals about Kinvolved, and they are universally excited about the way it breaks down barriers and allows for direct interaction with parents. . . . We feel that by increasing family-to-school interactions and breaking down the traditional walls that have existed, we will be able to improve outcomes for our students.”

—Christopher Maher, Superintendent, Providence Public School District

In Spring 2018, we launched a seven-school pilot with Providence Public Schools. The pilot objectives were to train school leaders on KiNVO functionality, collaborate on the following school year’s rollout plan, and measure the pilot term’s impact.

Here’s what we found:

  • School leaders and families had exchanged more than fourteen thousand messages via KiNVO
  • Four pilot schools reduced chronic absence rates
  • All forty Providence schools adopted KiNVO for the 2018–2019 school year
Find out how the Providence team achieved early success and scaled it district-wide
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