Communication is at the centre of everything we do at School Stream. This week we are exploring why do we do what we do with CEO and co-founder Melissa Bridson. Read on to learn how her personal experiences both as a parent and, as a designer specialising in school branding collided and led her to develop an app with the aim of streamlining school-parent communication.
We know you’re busy. Read on to learn more about School Stream’s beginnings or click here to see how School Stream supports schools.
School Stream is a communication tool
“School Stream is, essentially, a communication tool. It was built to solve a very specific problem I was experiencing as a parent: I just wasn’t receiving information at home. The tech facilitates solving the problem. I see it as the piece of the puzzle that brings schools and families together.”
Parents want a one-stop shop for school communication
“What I wanted, as a parent, was a reliable, dedicated environment – a one-stop shop – where I could go and know that all the school news and information would be there. When my own daughter was at school, I would have to search across emails, websites and the newsletter. And we all know what they look like by the time they get home! I ended up missing news and then missing events and this had an impact on the relationship with my daughter.”
School branding and school communication.
“For those people who don’t know, my background is in branding and schools. One day I stepped outside my marketing shoes and it dawned on me that, as a parent, communication from the school was the most important thing for me. It became very clear to me after seven years that while school staff go above and beyond in their jobs, it is just extremely difficult to maintain reliable communication with the outdated tools schools were expected to use. “
What do I hope schools get out of using School Stream? So many things!
“When School Stream was being built, I really wanted schools to have the 21st Century tools they deserve to make their jobs easier. School admins have an incredibly diverse job with so many moving parts. My hope is that School Stream can support them and help communication with families be seamless. Administration staff can be confident knowing if they send the information out, it will land in a parent’s phone and won’t get lost among promo emails and social media alerts. With critically important information, administration staff don’t have to worry about second guessing whether or not parents have received the message.”
School Stream supports students with complex family structures
“The other thing which benefits schools, families and students, is that School Stream supports complex family structures, which are increasingly common these days. If it’s appropriate, all parents and carers can have equal access to the school news, and we know from all the research that it’s in the best interest of the child to have all-hands-on-deck to support the education process.”
Schools can make major savings
“It is very satisfying for me to be able to say that the cost savings for schools are significant. The average school is saving about $13K per year and that can be channelled back into the budget. We surveyed 383 schools, and these were the figures that came back to us. It’s great to know we can support schools and save them big money at the same time.”
The app continues to evolve to meet the needs of schools
“A big part of what we do is listen to the people who use School Stream – schools and parents – and we continue to evolve the product to meet their needs. We never assume. We rely on feedback to make sure we get it right for our community. At the end of the day, we’re here to support schools and we want to help alleviate the heavy workload of the school administrators.”
An easy-to-use tool
“I was able to draw on my design experience to make sure that School Stream is simple to use and is a seamless tool for parents and schools. I knew if we didn’t make it easy to use, no one would use it.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about the personal side of School Stream and seeing what drives us.