New app tells parents what’s happening at school

(Last Updated On: May 10, 2017)

parent-teacher-appDates, times, events, announcements, and messages. Whatever the information, the Parent Teacher Calendar App offers a great way to communicate. 

Sharlene Barnes-Ealam was fed up with finding old school notes and newsletters buried in the bottom of her children’s school bags. So, she started to investigate ways schools could better engage with families and wha-nau, and how communication between the two could be a more seamless process for all concerned.

Enter the Parent Teacher Calendar App, a fully functional school calendar app that syncs with school newsletters, Google calendars, has a fully functioning absentee portal, and sends and receives notifications that gives parents real-time notifications on cancellations and reminders on what’s happening at school.

Seamless flow of information

For those schools that haven’t the time or are ‘technology challenged’ the PTC App content team populate the school calendar for them, so no school will miss out.

“I wanted to help schools communicate more effectively with parents, taking the responsibility away from children,” said Sharlene. “I wanted the school information to flow seamless between school and families.”

The service is free for schools. No development or set-up costs, no hosting charges and no monthly costs. Instead, it’s funded through advertising at a local and regional level. But don’t worry, this isn’t the world of pop-ups and flashing advertising. All schools are provided a list of advertisers to ensure they’re totally appropriate and, before sourcing takes place, participating schools are asked if any local business should be given the first opportunity.

Replicate advertising 

“We get the schools to vet the advertising before it goes online. Only ads the school is comfortable with are allowed through. Many schools allow local advertising in their newsletters and we work to replicate that in a digital world.”

Running the rapidly growing business from Kaikoura, around half New Zealand’s state schools already operate the Parent Teacher Calendar App. Sharlene is looking elsewhere, as well.

“We’ve also started offering the app in Australia and the uptake has been very encouraging.”  

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