NC District Uses CMS, Mobile App To Connect With Parents

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools serves more than 53,000 students and is the 83rd-largest school system in the nation. The district employs the Schoolwires Centricity2™ website and CMS and its integrated Mobile App solution to keep its parent base informed about their children’s progress and district initiatives.

“Today’s parents want access to a wide range of information and resources in multiple formats, including online postings, videos, and photos,” said Steven Anderson, Director of Instructional Technology, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. “When parents understand what is happening in the classroom, they are more supportive of teachers, our schools, and the district.”

On the district website, parents can find information on each of the 81 schools, on district policies and the school board, and resources to enhance learning, combat bullying, and more. The Schoolwires Mobile App lets parents view the information and resources on the district website from their smartphones.

The website played a key communications role as the district searched for a new superintendent who will take office beginning July 1, 2013. The district posted notices about upcoming community forums, and then uploaded summaries of the comments made by the public at each event. The district also posted a survey on the site to elicit community feedback on the issues that are most important to them. A total of 1,760 community members and 2,223 employees filled out the surveys. The results were later posted on the district website.

Teacher Web pages include the standards that will be met in the classroom, homework assignments, and resources for students and parents to extend learning into the home. The teacher and district websites receive a million hits a week.

“The numbers are further proof that today’s digital parents expect districts to communicate with them electronically,” said Christiane Crawford, President and Chief Executive Officer, Schoolwires. “Communications and resources need to be accessible to parents in the format they want and when they want it, whether they are accessing homework links from a tablet or viewing a district video on their smartphones.”