Giving Compass' Take:

• Possip is a text messaging service that helps parents stay engaged with students' teachers and gives them a forum to bring up any issues that might arise during the school week.

• The author says that this technology has increased parent engagement in students' academic lives. What other tech is bringing positive benefits for students and their families?

• Here are five ways to promote family engagement and foster meaningful connection. 

Parents have plenty to say about their children’s schools. But those comments, whether praises or concerns, don’t always make their way to principals or teachers. Possip — a mashup of “positive gossip” — aims to change that, opening a two-way conversation between schools and parents via a text messaging-based program.

During a pilot run of Possip, principals found that not only were parents more active in providing positive comments about teachers, but school administrators learned about potential areas of concern much more quickly than if there were no formal two-way communication between the school and families.

The program sends parents a text every Friday afternoon asking if they were happy with school that past week. Depending on the response, Possip follows up with a prompt inviting parents to either provide positive comments about something a teacher did that week or to bring up a concern. Possip then gathers the responses for each school and sends the principal a report on Monday, so the information can be shared with the school or addressed.

At first, Possip focused on enlisting individual schools and letting principals share their experiences. That has grown to entire districts signing onto the platform, which also allows a bird’s-eye view of more than one school.

The interactions through Possip help schools meet the ESSA requirement of showing increased parent engagement.

Read the full article about Possip by Tim Newcomb at The 74