While news services and social media platforms are overwhelmed with negative stories, we thought that sharing positive examples of innovation and resilience within our EdSmart community was just as important as any other COVID-19 updates.
Here’s how EdSmart schools are doing it better…
Catholic Education Services, Diocese of Cairns
Alison Forster is the School Information Systems Manager for Catholic Education Services in the Cairns diocese. For Alison, EdSmart’s templates, flexible forms and analytics have been invaluable for the vast network of schools and staff members that fall under the responsibility of her team during this time of Coronavirus.
Specifically, diocesan schools have found the sharing templates function of EdSmart helpful for saving considerable time and energy when it comes to communicating with teachers, parents and students. The templates, along with a centralised point for communication, have also made it much easier and more efficient for the diocese to deliver a concise and consistent message to their school communities.
Alison shared examples of schools in her region using EdSmart’s Parent Slips capabilities in the following innovative ways:
To quickly assess student access to IT equipment and resources at home;
To re-send previous agreements (for example, IT usage policies, as well as simultaneously reminding parents and students about their responsibilities when using school-based IT equipment at home);
To ascertain which families will be sending students to school next week for supervision (having access to this information has played an invaluable role for many schools with regards to planning and resource management).
The data that EdSmart provides our schools has also been a highlight for Alison and her team. As she told us, “[Our schools] love the tracking. For example, using the analytics to see at a glance the picture of home IT and internet access for a school was really appreciated by one of our rural Principals.”
Luther College, Victoria
Jacqui Layfield is from Luther College in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Similar to Alison at the Diocese of Cairns, Jacqui endorsed the notion that one of the biggest issues during crisis periods is ensuring the correct information reaches everyone.
“EdSmart has been central to our communication plan during this time,” Jacqui admits.
Luther College has also taken full advantage of the functionality of Parent Slips since the impacts of the pandemic have taken hold.
“Obviously, we have had a need to communicate with our community regularly as plans changed during the emerging epidemic,” she explains. “We have opted to send Parent Slips so that we are able to confirm families have received updated communications from the College. This has been invaluable in reaching out to those who we can easily see have not read the information.”
By embedding the Parent Slips in their Learning Management System, it’s meant that parents and carers of Luther College students have access to all of the school’s communications in the one centralised place.
“[Parents] are able to see all the communications [from the school] on one page, and easily check or reread them,” Jacqui further explains. She goes on to admit this is a much better option than parents digging through what’s likely an already clogged inbox trying to find a notice from the school.
Sending a copy to staff has also played an important role in keeping teachers abreast of parent communications and ensuring that everyone is kept in the loop.
Additionally, using the Eldest Sibling list has been put to great use by Luther College: “It means that families only receive the one communication per family, rather than multiple copies, which is more efficient and effective, particularly when the communication is as important as this.”
Adelaide Botanic High School, Adelaide
Rachael Mazurczak from Adelaide Botanic High School contacted us at the beginning of the pandemic shutdown to pass on her positive news about their EdSmart usage.
She let us know that her school’s principal had been sending out a nightly Broadcast to all parents and students via EdSmart. This Broadcast was designed to update the school’s community on what’s happening as far as school opening or closing decisions, administrative updates and general information for how to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
It had gone a long way to reducing anxiety in the school community, providing a much-needed level of communication and reassurance.
These are just some of the success stories our schools have shared with us. We’d love to hear about your school and your experiences during COVID-19. Email email@example.com