Many school districts turn to ParentSquare to communicate during pandemic

Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 6:58 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - As the first day of school nears, communication between parents and teachers is more important than ever because of COVID-19.

If you haven't heard of the app ParentSquare, you may soon.

Superintendents in the area are calling it a "one-stop shop" for all things school-related.

But what is ParentSquare?

“It’s not just communication, but also everyday interactions,” ParentSquare founder Anu Vaid said. “For online forums, parent-teacher conferences, online payments -- it brings everything under one same umbrella.”

Nearly 10 schools in the north country are using ParentSquare, some for the first time, like Watertown City School District.

It’s a large district with a lot of kids, which makes it challenging to complete daily health screenings mandated by the state.

But ParentSquare created a solution by letting kids get the okay before coming into school.

“It’s very user-friendly,” Watertown superintendent Patti LaBarr. “Especially if you have more than one child in your family. You’re not going to have to sit and take time to fill out multiple forms.”

ParentSquare also allows teachers and faculty to send notifications directly to parents’ phones as a text message, phone call, or email.

This is Copenhagen Central School's second year using ParentSquare and it helped the district communicate with parents when coronavirus closed the school in March.

“The surveys had been so easy to do, and communicating with parents,” superintendent Scott Connell said. “You can send it to all of our parents, just third grade parents. You can send it to high school. You can do all sorts of this with it which makes it so easy.”

Watertown rolled out ParentSquare to faculty this week and will introduce it to parents early next week. They hope all parents will use it.

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