St. Martha Catholic School of Kingwood, Texas, uses Flocknote as their main method of school communication, and Communications Director Lynn Lucas says it has helped their communications tremendously.
This year, the school had the opportunity to be on Great Day Houston, a live, local television program. In order to be on the show, they had a very short time period to get a certain number of parents and students to commit to attending.
“We were able to get the word out very quickly with Flocknote and were able to be on the show thanks to enough of our school families saying yes in time.” Lynn said.
“We use Flocknote on a daily basis. Most days we have at least ten different Flocknotes going out,” she added. “What we like [about Flocknote] is that we can have a separate group for each list like our parents, alumni, extracurricular activities and each homeroom class. So, for example, if we have something special we want to send to our alumni, the group for only alumni is already created and we just send it to them.”
Lynn said each homeroom teacher has their own Flocknote group for the parents of their students, and some teachers will send out a Flocknote each day. With the photo and video features, it makes it easier for a teacher to send out a quick email with a photo letting the parents know what they did that day in class.
“It’s easy. The teachers have the ability to keep in touch much more effectively” Lynn said.
As the admin for the school’s Flocknote, Lynn said the management side of keeping everyone’s current contact information is much simpler and more accurate than their previous solution. Before Flocknote, the school was using Outlook to email parents and other school members.
“If a parent changed their email, before in Outlook I would have to go through all the lists they were a part of and change it in each list. If they had two or three kids in our school who were each involved in an activity, I might have to change their contact information manually on 10 different lists, which was time consuming and left room for input error” said Lynn. “Now they can just update their own profile themselves, plus it only has to be updated once and applies to all of the different groups they are in. We love the self-management.”
Before using Flocknote, if a club sponsor or coach was out sick and had to cancel an after school activity or practice, students from that organization or sport would have to go to the front office after school and each call their parents letting them know they had to be picked up. Now another Flocknote admin can send a Flocknote out for them (or the sponsor can even do it from home!) letting the parents know that practice is cancelled.
“We are able to keep our parents informed much, much quicker,” said Lynn. “Using Flocknote also greatly reduces the number of phone calls made to and from the school front office”
As a school, they need a reliable communication method to make sure parents do not miss important information.
“We love the Analytics feature in Flocknote,” said Lynn. “When parents report that they did not receive information… we can take a look at the analytics in Flocknote to see if they received and opened the email. If not, we can resolve the issue.”
Lynn said the school really likes the ability to add Polls to the email notes they send out as well. She said the coaches will use it frequently, such as polling the parents to see who would attend if they had practice over the Christmas break.
Other times they poll the parents to see if they are interested in something, such as when they sent out a poll about a new shirt the school was thinking about selling. They were able to send a Flocknote with a photo of the new shirt and a poll asking the parents if they would be interested in buying the shirt if it was offered.
“This saves us a lot of time and money,” said Lynn. “We are able to see if the interest is there before going through the expense and trouble of ordering the shirts. After we sent out the poll to see if there was interest, we were then able to send out a follow-up Flocknote with the order form to order the shirts.”
They also use the poll feature within their faculty and staff and volunteer committees, such as polling teachers and faculty on their opinions or signing up to bring something for a classroom party.
This last use of Flocknote shows how much technology is changing how we receive important information.
“Some parents, especially in the upper grades, may not check their children’s backpacks on a regular basis,” said Lynn. “If we have something important we have to send home with the students, we will send out a Flocknote telling the parents to make sure to check their students’ backpacks that day.”
Have you or your church done something really creative through Flocknote? If so, leave us a comment and tell us more! You might just be the subject of our next “Flocknotable.”