Parents connecting with kids: There’s an app for that

So often, parents try to pry any information out of their children after a given school day. How was it? What did you do? What’d you learn? Who did you sit with at lunch?

Despite the question, the most common of answers is “good.” Plain and simple.

The Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE) is working to broaden this conversation by making sure that parents and guardians are continuously in the loop, even over the course of the school day.

CSCOE recently gave grants to schools to implement an app called PreciouStatus. Employed in 41 schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, this innovative technology works to connect each school with the households, and teachers with parents.

Tim Bouchard, director of sales and marketing for PreciouStatus, described the benefits of the app being “push technology,” rather than the less effective “pull technology.” While a newsletter requires hunting for information, PreciouStatus pushes information to a parent’s phone, specifically about their child or class.

“It’s personal, engaging and they know all of the relevant information about their child,” Bouchard said.

Eric LaMott, CSCOE’s chief enrollment officer, said, in general, “Our goal is to support the launch and or test of an initiative that we believe will be an asset to the school’s enrollment growth and school excellence.”

PreciouStatus is doing just that. Beyond the parent/teacher engagement, the app promotes positive school branding. LaMott explained that when videos, pictures and other updates are posted, the individual school’s branding appears prominently in the corner of the screen.

According to a survey from November 2015, 92 percent of parents said that the PreciouStatus updates regarding their child were “excellent/good.”

“I love having relevant conversation topics for the car ride home after school,” parents have said. “I can ask [my daughter] about something specific and meaningful, which has been far more productive and enlightening than me asking her to volunteer information.”

The benefits of PreciouStatus change from pre-K through eighth grade. But across the board, the app has proven to keep students engaged both in and out of the classroom. Teachers have said that the students who see their parents actively engaged tend to do better in school because they know it’s important.

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Catholic Schools Center of Excellence