If we’re honest, we all love to hear how other schools operate behind the scenes. Late last year we took a deep dive into the communication strategies and practices of a small Catholic primary school in Darwin and a not-for-profit preschool in NSW. (Catch up here if you missed it.) This week on School Stream, we are thrilled to share part two of our sneak peek. We check in with a big comprehensive high school in Adelaide and a small school on King Island. While on paper these schools couldn’t be more different, they each have a fantastic, best-practice approach to communication that keeps parents in the loop, organised, and ready to support their child’s education. A big thank you to Rachel and Laura for taking the time to chat with us and share their experience.
We support all kinds of schools from preschool to secondary school. Watch this short video and get in touch to see how School Stream can help save you time, money and engage your parent community, or keep reading to take a peek behind the scenes at two very different schools.
UNLEY HIGH SCHOOL, Netherby, South Australia
Number of students: 1250
Staff: 140 (including teaching staff, SSOs and administrators)
Unley High School is an innovative comprehensive secondary school with a proud record of academic success, sporting involvement, student wellbeing and connection with families. They offer a diverse academic program including languages, STEM and VET, as well as being a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.
Rachel Hartvigsen is the Assistant to the Principal at Unley High School. We spoke to her recently and learned how this large school uses School Stream to keep the families of their significant student body in the loop.
‘We were looking for a ‘one stop shop’ to enable the school and families to communicate important info easily and efficiently. We were aware a lot of new parents were using an app to communicate with their children’s primary school, so they were quite open to using one. Most people are attuned to using apps on their phones.’
“I sent three alerts today – it’s a huge thing to email every family in the school – it’s so much quicker on School Stream.”
“School Stream has greatly reduced the need for paper forms and notices to be sent home with students. We now communicate important information, upcoming events, and even our newsletter via School Stream. This has reduced the amount of photocopying and our paper usage. We have better engagement with our families, less traffic through the office, and it has contributed to transitioning us to a cashless school. It is simple for parents to make contact with us through School Stream to notify us of student absences, changes to contact details etc. During 2020 and ongoing, School Stream has enabled us to quickly and easily keep our families up to date with SA Health advice and school closures as the situation changed.“
A big thank you to Rachel for taking the time to speak to us.
King Island District High School, Currie Tasmania
Number of students: 200 students (K – 12)
Staff: 25 teachers and 3 administration staff
King Island District High School is a forward-thinking school in Currie on Tasmania’s famed King Island. They are highly focused on educational excellence, student engagement, and the school also runs a strong outdoor education program which makes the most of their natural environment. Their values of Respect and Working Hard are at the heart of the school.
We talked to the King Island District School Administration Manager, Laura Keeler, about what prompted them to introduce School Stream.
We were looking for ways to get information out to parents quickly and we also wanted to reduce paper waste. When the (former) Principal was researching the apps available, he particularly liked a feature on School Stream that meant we could set alerts to go out at different times – there doesn’t need to be someone in the office at the time to send it. Everyone at the school lives within 40 minutes, so we schedule all our alerts to go out at 7 am. That way, we can remind everyone to pack their swimming things or anything they need for the day before they’ve left. Not all notes and letters make it home!”
How has School Stream helped parents and staff at King Island District High School?
“We have fewer phone calls to the office. (Previously) when we had a cross country race, we would get phone calls to the office with questions like “What time is the Grade 2 race?” But we put the whole itinerary on School Stream now and we don’t get those kinds of calls anymore – because parents can find it on the app”.
King Island has a “communication” page on their website to inform parents how to download and set-up School Stream, as well as the kind of information they can access via the app.
Thank you to Laura for taking the time to share your experience with us.
Are you ready to streamline your parent communication? Let’s get started.