As we bid farewell to another remarkable year, we hope you were able to wind things down for a well-deserved break and you will find a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come this year.
It is with gratitude that I reflect on the journey we have shared together. I thank you for fostering a collaborative environment to help refine ParentSquare for you and all our schools, as well as referring us to your friends and colleagues. We’re busy preparing for our next chapter, but before we step into the new year and everything it has in store, here’s a look back at 2023 and just some of the ways we’ve made it a memorable one.
ParentSquare has expanded to provide you with more possibilities
Our growth is the best compliment for the work we do for our schools. This past year many new schools became a part of our family and we also acquired two companies.
- Remind: The Remind platform is home to one of the largest free services in education and a school communication business that supports millions of students. Together, we have the opportunity to build the single most engaged communication platform in education—one that makes it as simple as possible for everyone in a district community to stay connected. RSVP for our January 25th webinar to get a first look at near-term and long-term plans.
- Gabbart Communications: Gabbart is home to a well-loved and established Website CMS solution. Many of you expressed the need for websites in addition to communication tools, and we listened by delivering Smart Sites to help you to create integrated, easy to use, beautifully-designed websites.
This growth allows us to now serve over 17 million student families across all 50 states and we will be able to leverage this vast network of communities to further serve the needs of you and all your schools.
Customers make the difference
Technology is a tool; it’s the humans at the control panel that make all the difference. Our very first core value is “We are Champions for our Customers,” and we have worked hard this year to align with that belief.
While there are a number of initiatives that fall into this category, one that we are particularly proud of is hosting our first ever national user conference. It was energizing to meet our customers from across the country and hear from you directly on how to be a better partner. We loved it so much we will have three user conferences across the U.S. next year.
We also instituted some key changes to make the experience better for you while ensuring our customer success interactions are more fun and effective. Here are a few of the accomplishments that we would not have been able to achieve without your help and engagement.
- Extended support hours and provided weekend support
- Delivered ParentSquare Summer Camp. where we got to interact in fun learning activities with over 5,000 teachers and administrators
- Expanded our Training Certification Modules, added more live training webinars, and a host of other features to help support our users and admins
Please remember to log into ParentSquare and fill out your NPS Survey so that we can continue to learn and improve.
Engaging with our customers and receiving feedback, whether positive or constructive, is a cherished aspect of our work. Here are a few of the most important product updates delivered this past year, with more in store for 2024!
- Smart Sites: We successfully introduced our website/CMS product to schools nationwide and strengthened our unified, multi-purpose platform.
- Virtual Phone: Educators, counselors and staff can now seamlessly initiate calls home and effortlessly track them—all within ParentSquare.
- Role-based Permissions: With the new permissions workflow (login required), admins have more flexibility to match access permissions to unique school or district needs.
- Security and Session Management: Anytime we detect that a user’s password represents a potential security risk (login required), we prompt a reset.
- Enhanced Data/Analytics: The Notifications Activity Dashboard, year on year data history, and improved Post delivery statistics were released to help you gain insights.
Achievements of Note
It was a year of huge growth and innovation at ParentSquare, thanks to the hard work of our team and to the input from our users. Here are some of advancements of note for 2023:
- Made the Inc. 5,000 list, the prestigious annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America
- Won the Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence: Best of 2022 in the Secondary Education category
- Earned Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Level III certification, supported by “promising evidence” of its impact on school-family relationship outcomes
- Established new partnerships with Skyward and Mindex (SchoolTool), to enhance our integrations and ability to serve our joint customers
- Partnered with Canva for Education to make it easy for educators to create content-rich posts
We know that effective, secure communications are essential! This year we delivered many best practice guides and resources with tips for improving communications and engagement.
- Complete District Communications Playbook: best practices, templates and tools to help district leaders ensure great communications all year
- Annual Survey Report: The State of School-Home Communications: What Works to Engage All Families
- Best Practice Guide: Family Engagement for Student Success: why it matters, how to track it and ways to improve engagement in your school today
- Funding Guide: Understanding Your Options: the many ways you can fund ParentSquare through federal or general sources
- Customer Stories: showcasing your great work through case studies, videos, webinars, guides, news articles and more
- Most popular blogs: 12 Response Templates for Educators to Navigate Tricky Interactions, 10 Ways to Improve Family Engagement in Schools and Why Are Parent Teacher Conferences Important? 5 Reasons To Consider
A Look Ahead
Connection is at the heart of every learning relationship, and we’re grateful that ParentSquare has been part of so many of them. There is so much more in store for us in the new year for both myself and our organization.
For ParentSquare, we can’t wait to get started on some exciting updates after a break. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store for 2024:
- New Newsletter tool: A powerful new editing tool designed to elevate newsletters and posts, making it easier to keep your brand consistent and your posts visually appealing
- Preferred Communication: ParentSquare’s upgraded Direct Messaging will complement its existing Post feature to allow all users to engage in true two-way conversations through various channels including email, text, push notifications, the website, or the app
- Exciting Innovations for school websites
For Me, as I approach the new year with hope, excitement and optimism, I am excited to share my resolutions for the coming year with you.
Professionally, I am committed to fostering transparent communication and keeping you even more informed about our journey as we integrate Remind and what it means for you.
On a personal note, I aspire to overcome the hesitations that often hinder my expressions, resolving to let my words flow from the heart, even if imperfect. With our nest now empty with both kids in college, my family resolution is to gather on Zoom at the close of each month to share our roses, buds and thorns, and connect more intentionally.
Once again, thank you for the magic of this past year, and I eagerly anticipate the year that lies ahead.