Preview: New School-to-Home Communications Platform to Launch in August 2022

Preview: New School-to-Home Communications Platform to Launch in August 2022
Posted on 05/19/2022

Dear CPS Staff:

We are excited to share that CPS will be upgrading to a single school-to-home communications platform for the 2022-23 school year with the implementation of ParentSquare this August. The upgrade of our communication tools will address many of the challenges identified by families, staff, and students and strengthen our engagement with our school community.

Key information:

  • We will launch ParentSquare in August as part of streamlined back-to-school communications.
  • Following registration, students (grades 6-12), families and staff members will receive the majority of communications through ParentSquare. Some groups will also be users of the platform and share information, such as district administrators, school leaders and teachers.
  • Staff in user roles will receive role-based training at the beginning of the school year. Stay tuned for details!
  • We will begin communicating about ParentSquare with students and families this month and over the summer.
  • We are excited to take this step together in enhancing our communications and truly engaging with ALL of our families.

OVERVIEW
Quality school-home communications is essential. We’ve learned a lot over the last few years as CPS has expanded its communication tools. However, families, staff and administrations consistently raise challenges with our current tools. Among the themes we heard: inconsistency across schools; managing family contact information; translation limitations and quality; inability for families to choose mode and frequency of communication; information overload. Our current tools are challenging and time consuming for staff and ineffective for families.

ParentSquare will help us address these challenges as a singular tool that will build consistency across schools and ensure we are reaching each student, caregiver and staff member. ParentSquare will replace the use of Remind, School Messenger, and various other apps such as Class Dojo and Seesaw, as it provides their existing functionalities and additional features. In most cases, ParentSquare will also replace the use of Aspen for family communications.

ParentSquare will allow the district, schools and educators to use a single tool to share information in multiple ways (email, text, phone, and app). Schools will also be able to track up-to-date family contact information, which will then be updated in Aspen, ensuring accuracy. The platform also has enhanced translation features that will allow us to better serve all families.

Some of ParentSquare’s features include:

  • Mass notifications, urgent alerts, attendance notifications
  • Teacher and classroom communication
  • Recipients select preferred method (email, text, voice, app), language and time of day
  • Direct messaging and chat with two-way translation
  • Calendars, event and meeting sign-up
  • StudentSquare for grades 6-12 (similar to Remind with added Security)
  • Mobile app

On behalf of the CPS Team,

Lyndsay P. Brown, Chief Strategy Officer
Sujata Wycoff, Director of Communications

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