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ParentSquare Introduces Smart Sites: A New Tool to Elevate Integrated School Communication

Consistent communication is a key element in building a strong and engaged school community and creating a positive and supportive learning environment. To help achieve these goals, we announced in January that we had acquired Gabbart Communications, a website and content management system (CMS) business, which has enabled us to launch Smart Sites, a new integrated school website module that will help further unify school communications

In February, we hosted a webinar with over 1,000 registrants anxious to learn all about our expanded offerings designed to elevate family and community engagement experiences across schools and districts. 

Our Founder and President Anupama (Anu) Vaid began the webinar by sharing what inspired the search for, and addition of, Gabbart Communications to the ever-evolving platform. She explained that through conversations, surveys, and feedback from customers, the most common comment was that the one key element ParentSquare was missing was a website CMS solution. 

Anu also noted that this, and all future growth opportunities, will align with our goals to create a product that is simple, delightful, and integrated––with all of the tools necessary to support schools’ communication goals and engage families.

“Gabbart brings us a website CMS product and a very skilled team whose culture matches our culture of putting customers first and working collaboratively.” – Anupama Vaid

Teddy Gabbart joined the webinar and offered specific details on how the newly launched Smart Sites is fully integrated into our platform, allowing schools and districts to create custom websites that are tailored to their specific needs––including a school or district’s unique branding–– without requiring any coding or technical knowledge. This makes it easy for communications directors and administrators alike to create and maintain websites that are not only visually appealing, but also informative and user-friendly. Teddy also mentioned that the acquisition has allowed us to expand our customer base and offer our existing customers a wider range of services through Smart Sites. Schools that were previously using Gabbart’s communication tools can now access the full suite of ParentSquare features, including two-way messaging, automated notifications, and the Smart Sites website builder.

“Prior to the acquisition, ParentSquare served over 1,500 school districts. Together, we now serve over 2,200 school districts in 49 states––which amounts to over 15% of all students in the country.” – Teddy Gabbart

Smart Sites offers a rich range of features that can help schools effectively engage families and the wider community. This allows schools to keep parents informed about important events and announcements, as well as reach out to the community as a whole and attract new students.

“Our belief has always been the same: if schools can involve parents, it will improve student success,” Anu said. “Decades of research proves this, as well. So, our mission is to give schools the power to incredibly enhance family engagement for every student.”

In the next part of the webinar, our Regional Sales Director Chris Prince dug into how Smart Sites works, including some of the functionality available through the tool. Chris noted that in the process of creating the best school website tool possible, our team kept in mind the three things customers consistently said were important to them: beautiful and branded sites, an easy-to-use tool, and the functionality to create content once and publish it across multiple channels.

Schools need beautiful and branded websites because as much as a website is an information vehicle, it must be a marketing vehicle at the same time, and our new Smart Sites offering is  designed to help schools stand out. The product is easy to use––both in terms of making updates to the sites and setting permissions, and roles for site management. 

Additionally, with the ability to create content once and publish everywhere, we have created something very unique in the industry. Smart Sites is fully integrated with a school or district’s existing ParentSquare communications module allowing users to create content in one place and automatically publish it across all communication channels. Creating content in one place saves staff time and money, and the content is consistent in all places.

Chris also mentioned some of the top features of Smart Sites, including sharing posts to your website when you’re creating a post in ParentSquare, creating a website alert when you’re creating an alert in ParentSquare, and single login (SSO) through both ParentSquare and Gabbart. He noted that upcoming features include syncing staff directories from a student information system and calendar integrations, as well as updates in the future as we receive customer feedback.

“We want to help you answer a question that superintendents in schools are often asking: Are you actually staying true to your strategic plan about improving family engagement? Are you communicating effectively and efficiently? Are you reaching all of your families? Are you engaging them? We’ve built a more modern approach to answer that question for you. It’s an approach where all your tools and channels are working in concert together, and where you can see the engagement of your parents at the classroom, school site, and district levels––a true measurement of engagement.” – Chris Prince

Our ParentSquare Smart Sites is a powerful new tool that will change the way a school and district is able to engage families and improve the lives of students. With Smart Sites, schools can create a strong online presence that reflects their values and priorities and helps build a strong and engaged school community.

To watch the webinar in its entirety, including a demo of ParentSquare Smart Sites, check out the recording here.

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