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Things move pretty fast in a school environment. If you want to communicate efficiently and effectively with your parents and caregivers, you need to meet them where they’re at. And we all know that’s on their phone. If you want to introduce a school communication app to your school, we have a quick checklist to help make sure you’re getting everything you need to streamline your parent communication and make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

We’re proud to be the top-rated school communication app on the App Store and Google Play – see why parents love using School Stream to communicate with their school, or read on to make sure you’re getting everything you need from your school app.

Top 6 essentials for your school communication app

We’ve developed School Stream to meet the needs of all kinds of schools in Australia, New Zealand and around the world, so we know what works for parents and schools. These are the tried and tested features to look for when you’re researching mobile school communication apps.

1. Free unlimited training 

Look for an app that goes above and beyond. Ensure there is ongoing, unlimited support to help you if you need it. Whether that’s a phone call away or an actively staffed Live Chat function, knowing there is customised training in place to support school staff along the way is crucial. Children may pick up an app and work out how to use it in 30 seconds but, for many adults, it’s reassuring to know support is on-hand! Learn more about School’s Stream’s unlimited, accessible, Australian based training.

“The support from the School Stream personnel, I can honestly say is second to none. You ring up and you speak to a human straight away. If you use the webchat, you get an answer nearly immediately”.  Greg Cross, Principal Bathurst South Public School

2. Mobile payments

Who loves getting notes with a couple of coins sticky taped on? Nobody! What about reconciling credit card forms and payments with forms or manual bank deposits? It’s a hard pass from us too. An efficient app is one that allows schools to accept payments for anything from the uniform shop to the canteen. Make sure the app you’re looking at doesn’t charge commission. Learn more.

3. Free, unlimited messaging

Free, unlimited messaging means schools can quickly let parents know of any changes or news – and it will go directly to their smartphone, first time, every time. This feature will save your school a fortune on printing and texting services. Find out how much you could save in printing costs. 

4. Digital forms & newsletters

See you later, crumpled up notes! Send digital forms directly to a parent’s smartphone or device and make sure you can incorporate a digital signature. Send and receive forms for absentees, excursions, photo day, surveys and any changing health or government advice. You can imagine how convenient this function is. We also recently wrote about how technology is changing the school newsletter. See what other schools had to say about the way they use School Stream to effectively reach their parents.

5. Can you customise it?

All schools are different, so any app worth its salt needs to be able to be customised so it can meet the needs of your school. The way this works in the case of School Stream is by using custom categories. Schools can choose how to target content based on the needs of the school. What does this look like in action?

“People can sign up to specific streams, so if I’m a Year 6 or Senior School parent, or need updates for under 10s soccer, I can choose to get information that’s relevant to me. The School can then target more specific information to those groups and can choose the amount of information families are getting.” 

David Edwards, School Principal and Former President of the Australian Catholic Primary Principals Association (2013-2016)

6. Access to statistics so you can see what’s working

It’s important to know your comms are hitting their target. Make sure you can access all the data so you can see who is looking at what post. This is important because it allows you to see what works and reach out to parents who haven’t engaged for a while. 

Ready to learn more about how School Stream can make your job easier? Let’s get started.