Q: Hi Principal Sehrt! Can you introduce your school?
We are a 53-year-old Title 1 elementary school with close to 425 students near, San Jose, California.
We have a diverse student population and 30% of the students are English Language Learners.
As a school we have a very strong focus on literacy and the PTA collaborates with teachers and students to support English Language Learning and success of all students.
As a school we have a very strong focus on literacy. Our community is very strong and the PTA collaborates with teachers and students to support English Language Learning and success of all students.
We found that our parents weren’t reading our newsletters which were ending up in the recycle bin.
Q: How were you communicating with parents before you started using Sangha?
Prior to Sangha, we relied on a monthly print newsletter and our website. We found that our parents weren’t reading our newsletters, which were ending up in the recycle bin every month. We also used a robo-calling system, but parents would often not listen to the voice message and would call the school to ask about the message.
Individual teachers would also communicate with parents through email and post content to our website.
We briefly evaluated Remind app and signed up with Sangha
Q: How did you come to know about Sangha and why did you go with them?
We briefly evaluated Remind but found that two schools in our Newark school district had piloted Sangha and found success. So we decided to go with Sangha.
Sangha comes set up with class rosters for the entire school. It reaches parents via mobile app, interactive email digests, website calendar plugins and offline support solutions.
Q: You are reaching 87% of your students' parents via the Sangha mobile app or email digest. How did you sign up so many parents in your first year?
We love the way Sangha simplified school-parent interactions, so my staff and I put in the legwork to sign parents up. Our goal was to get at least one parent of a every student online.
The good news is Sangha comes set up with class rosters for the entire school making signup tracking and followups so much easier. However, email information in the rosters may be stale or missing for quite a few parents. Since we were launching at the beginning of the year, we decided to sign up as many parents as possible during registrations.
Q: Can you share some tips on how you signed up parents?
On registration day we had flyers and laptops for parents. We even had a Spanish translator to help parents who didn’t use email to help set up an email account and sign up for Sangha.
I checked Sangha daily to see which parents were offline and we sent notices to these parents. Then we pushed hard for teachers, staff and myself to follow up and talk with parents to get them to the app.
The cool thing is once parents sign up, unlike with other apps, they roll over to next year‘s classes automatically.
Getting your teachers to use the app is not hard
Q: 70% of your teachers are active on Sangha. How did you introduce Sangha to teachers ?
Sangha’s initial training and hands-on workshop was very helpful. We asked teachers to not only try it, but also help to make the app better. I would check with my teachers regularly, asking if they had posted an event, or sent a signup event, or message and if they had any feedback.
We were all putting lots of effort into signing up parents, and all the staff knew that this was something important we were going to try. We had lot of conversations and elicited teachers’/parents’ feedback throughout the year. Our technology committee helped the staff and had a good pulse of how the staff were using Sangha. Our parents really appreciated the app and the more parents used the app, the more teachers heard from them.
As a principal, I love the fact that I can have a glimpse into what’s happening in each class and with each parent.
Q: What’s your feedback on the app so far?
I can communicate with entire school or class in no time, and teachers can do the same with their classes. They set up weekly tasks, signup-events, communicate what happened last week, and inform parents about shifts in curriculum. Teachers love the parent messaging feature.
As a principal, I love the fact that I can have a glimpse into what’s happening in each class and with each parent. All I need to do is spend a few minutes checking activity for all classes and parents, and As a principal I am in the know all the time.
We are using different features like Volunteering, Material Donations, RSVPs and Parent-Teacher Conferences. Teachers like the Parent-Teachers Conferences feature instantly getting parent responses instead of spending days chasing them. We are looking forward to using the smart Forms and eSignatures this year and getting rid of our paper consent forms.
Sangha has been amazing with customer support. The best part is that they actually listen to your feedback and keep improving the product at a rapid clip.
Sangha has been amazing with their customer support. They don’t just launch the app and leave they are with you through the journey as you reach and engage parents. The best part is that they actually listen to your feedback and keep improving the product at a rapid clip.
Parents really appreciate the app and give us lot of positive feedback. They like the automatic push notification alerts for all school and class events and signup requests. In fact, they ask to be reminded more and to receive additional reminders via Sangha email digests. They like the easy one-tap signups.
I would recommend that schools use Sangha to reach and engage parents effectively.
Q: Any parting comments to share with other principals?
I would recommend that schools use Sangha to reach and engage parents effectively. It will simplify a lot of school-parent and teacher-parent interactions. If anyone has any questions about Sangha, I am more than happy to answer them!
If you are looking to transform your school parent interactions, sign up for a quick demo meeting.