A free calendar app designed to help schools keep parents up to date with important notices is getting a boost to accelerate growth in Australia, thanks to its parent company, Advert Media, recently receiving funds from an overseas investor.
Headquartered in Kaikoura, Advert Media provides its Parent Teacher Calendar App free to more than than 400 schools across New Zealand, as well as 50 in Australia. More than a dozen Cook Island schools have also expressed an interest in the app, and the company, which employs 15 staff across its Kaikoura and Rangiora offices, has also fielded enquiries from schools in Dubai, Fiji, and the US.
Founder Sharlene Barnes says the newly invested funds will help the company add more features and functionality to the app, and expand the company’s footprint in Australia.
Schools use the app to publish a calendar of important dates and events, send reminders to parents through push notifications, and alert families of emergencies. Caregivers can use the app to notify schools of child absences. A new feature added this month allows parents to sign paperless approval forms for school trips and excursions.
“It’s about helping schools stay connected to their parent communities, and making communications easier for everyone, especially when schools need to get information out to parents immediately,” said Barnes, who cites examples of how schools have used the app to get the word out about sporting event cancellations, busses running late, and emergency situations like school closures resulting from flooding or earthquakes.
She also says the notifications are helpful for schools to remind parents of important upcoming events, as paper school notices didn’t always make their way home, and emails would often get buried in parents’ inboxes.