Personalized Communication – An Emerging Superpower for Modern Schools

Effective parent-school communication forms an oft-repeated core of SchoolPad’s philosophy—a crucial motivation that guides our many initiatives. This is deliberate—a design guided by our realization that this communication is fundamental not just for students’ overall interest but also from the perspective of school managements, strictly in terms of their standing and relative success in the modern hyper-competitive environment.

The urban education environment is dotted with numerous quality schools, competing within the same space. No wonder that parents are now actively exploring their options, asking questions and gathering information. It is also not a surprise that switching schools for parents is now easier and hence much more common—sometimes even on relatively smaller grounds like absence of equipments/resources for desired extra-curricular activities.Parents like to be informed and involved.

The channels of communication are instant—a phone call, a text or an email, all being easily accessible and preferred by both schools and parents. Not communicating anymore is inexcusable for schools and comes at the high cost of losing parental trust and loyalty.

Against this background, parent-school communication has acquired a much more significant role for the schools. With parents willing and making an effort to be involved in their child’s academics, the onus lies on the schools to ensure that their communication with parents is two-way, consistent, on-going and personalized. It is important for schools to make a conscious, concerted effort to keep in touch with the parents.

The management needs to put mechanisms in place that support this kind of regular communication and instill a culture wherein the teachers and school-staff members are willing and aware communicators. Because irrespective of the availability of the multiple means of communication, the efficiency of the system depends on people. And even more importantly, when it comes to parents, the quality of communication is as important as frequency.

The teachers need to understand what to communicate and how—and this ranges from student’s academic performance to their social and behavioral concerns. Beyond student specific information, the schools also need to keep the parents updated about the curriculum, events and facilities to make sure that they don’t miss out on any essential information that may eventually affect their perception or relationship with the schools.

Since quality of communication is crucial, different kind of data needs to be transmitted differently. A child’s behavioral report hence cannot be communicated in the same fashion and via the same channel as a regular update on general curriculum. The sensitivity and extent of discussion required are vastly different. The school management including the teachers need to appreciate the difference and manage communication accordingly.

The bottom line is simple. Personalization of the communication, is the key and that’s what SchoolPad has been trying to help School’s achieve. Modern parents are no longer a mere third wheel in the school dynamics. They are equal and involved partners who are more than willing to play their part in their child’s holistic development. Strictly, from a child development point of view, this is a great, new dynamic. And it is in the interest of the schools to step up and play their part. It is not very complicated and ultimately, with the technology and tools available at their disposal, all that is needed is a will to make the effort.

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