“My experience with School Stream has been great!”
Zartaj Waseem is a STEM Education Professional and Senior School Administrator at Haque Academy in Pakistan. In addition to her administrative role, Zartaj also teaches robotics and technology, as well as launching a science initiative in Pakistan. Describing herself as someone who looks to technology for solutions, Zartaj realised that the communication challenges experienced by Haque Academy could be solved with an app.
She took to Google where she came across School Stream ‘quite a few times’. After plenty more research and trying a demo via the website, School Stream is now fully implemented at the college where it is has been heavily relied upon to communicate with the parents and families since 2015. Zartaj describes how it has increased productivity and set the school’s families at ease. Read on for some highlights of our conversation with Zartaj or watch the interview in full below.
On communication challenges prior to implementing School Stream:
‘We used an SMS service to send very brief information to parents and the biggest limitation is the number of characters you are able to send, so we mostly used it to send reminders. In cases where we sent out bulk SMSs, we had parents missing out. We also used to give paper notices to the child to take home, but they tend to lose it and the parents would miss the information…’
‘It’s within the budget’
‘I knew the power of the app. I knew our monthly budget for communications with parents was PKR10,000/month (approximately AUD$110) which was basically an SMS service. So when I showed it (School Stream) to my director, I could say “Here’s the deal. I’ve got it within the budget of the SMS service”. So we tried it out and it’s worked really well for us.’
‘A huge cost saving’
‘A huge cost saving has come with School Stream. We used to do a paper-based summer mail out of about 30 pages and we used to courier it to the families. With 1,000 students attending the college, you can do the math!’ We have a budget of R10,000/month (approximately AUD$110) and (previously) we were only able to support an SMS service with that.’
‘We really rely on the ‘Forms’
‘We heavily rely on the absentee reporting and consent forms for events and participation. Getting information from the parents using the ‘Forms’ has become very easy. We also have our canteen menu on the app and it’s very well liked by the parents. They can book a lunch for their child for the day or even for the whole week’.
‘The support has been amazing’
‘The support from School Stream has been amazing and the training and implementation has been seamless. I have been working with Brad and he has been very supportive in terms of helping me out initially when I was working on the forms’.
‘Parents feel better informed’
‘With the introduction of School Stream as our school communication app we have been able to introduce new things because we can communicate well with the parents. We have introduced sending out reminders and alerts. The parents feel they are better informed. It’s better than emails. They are much more likely to check an alert on their phone. It has definitely increased our productivity in terms of communication with parents’
Advice to other schools who are not currently using School Stream?
‘Go for it! With everyone using smartphones, we should take advantage of this technology… Once I explored School Stream, I honestly did not feel the need to look at any other apps. It’s a must-have thing, not a nice-to-have thing.’
A big thank you to Zartaj for sharing her insights. Click here to book a demo.