• Facilitate easy parents, teachers, students communication
    • Available on mobile and in emails and on paper (how many parents need this?)
    • Message tagging: priority, which class it is for
    • People can subscribe and unsubscribe to a particular tag
  • Technical features
    • integration with existing social networks
      • facebook
      • whatsapp
      • email
  • Technical wishlist
    • Automatic transfer of all Y1 subscribers to Y2 etc every year (this can be manual at first but would be handy to have)
    • end to end message encryption


Options to consider (preliminary list - brainstorming):

Does not look useful

  • mailing lists?
    • where to host? how much?
    • ability to browse past messages in a user friendly way? no end to end encryption

Extra: Problems with the current setup

  • a lot of paper based communication from school to parent (from 1B, from 1, from entire school)
    • laborious and not environmentally friendly to make (for the school)
    • easy to lose or forget (for the parent)
  • message delivery to multiple parents/carers/guardians is nonexistant
  • a lot of places to keep track of (a mess)
    • classdojo (website for teacher to parent messages and back)
    • facebook (communication with other parents)
    • a folder with papers
  • may require multiple logins to keep track of (low importance but this is a problem)
  • everything is not encrypted in any way whatsoever
  • teacher does not see parent-to-parent communication at facebook

Extra: more detailed Requirements

  • messages from school to
    • parents
      • everyone in year N (ie everyone in year 1 sends it to 1A, 1B, 1C, etc)
      • all in a group (ie 1B)
      • everyone at school (all parents of children in any grade)
  • messages from parent to parent
    • within a class (1B or 'everyone year 1')
    • within a group (school greens, P&C, etc)
    • teachers should see these messages, particularly within their own class
  • message delivery to multiple parents/carers/guardians
    • delegation of authority (e.g. if parents are out of town for a week how does the uncle get messages)
    • easy removal of access of an abusive parent/carer/guardian (to prevent stalking, kidnapping, etc / to follow a restraining order)
  • parent can subscribe and unsubscribe to particular groups
    • some subscribe require admin approval if parent is not a member of the group- messages from parent to teacher and back, usually within just one group (ie 1B)
  • ability to receive messages on a smart phone (email should work in theory)
    • this is needed for parents who are not tech-savvy, do not have email/facebook/etc
  • ability to receive messages on paper (pick them up at school or deliver to a postal address)
    • this is for parents who do not have any digital devices or digital accounts- attachments support (images, doc, pdf)
  • ability to 'roll over' from one year to a next one (when a next year starts, we need to transfer parents from one year to another one)
  • ability to mark messages as urgent if needed? see message precedence
  • ability to easily view messages received last week, etc
  • ability to mark messages as read / unread? done / not done? message tags? (this needs more thought; email should work in theory)
  • single login to all apps used for this (not 'login to app x to talk to teacher, login to app y to get messages from school')
  • message delivery and receive messages to social networks such as Facebook, sms, email, etc (perhaps even queue paper notes for delivery)
    • "use twitdere or andstatus and get push notifications " instead of sms, for smartphone users
  • audio or video chat?
  • communications monitoring, check SugarCRM and CivicCRM
  • tagging of groups or users with tags (?)
  • end to end encryption

Extra: Currently in use (at various schools)

  • skoolbag
    • for school-to-parent communication
    • emails expensive, but free with about $500 (=number of students)/year subscription.
  • school enews
    • for school-to-parent communication
    • about $400 a year for web news plus bulk mail example pricing
    • Medium: 101-600 students
      • Custom App (and Bulk Email)
        • Once off: $495 setup, design and training
        • Per Year: $475 per year
      • School Enews App
        • Once off: $195 setup and training
        • Per Year: $345 per year WITH bulk email OR
        • Per Year: $245 per year WITHOUT bulk email
  • ...
  • SchoolStream app
    • bulk mail, "newsletters, email, Facebook, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, sms, printed notes, payment forms, local news" features
    • pricing depends on number of students; about $900 per year if school has 500 students


  • ClassDojo
    • for parent-to-teacher-and-back communication
  • daymap
    • features "The Daymap Parent Portal can be a great central place for parents to access school communication"
  • Facebook
    • for parent to parent communication
  • Google Groups
    • for parent-to-parent or school-to-parent communication
    • has email
    • free even private groups, like a mailing list.
    • hard to view messages history from mobile.
  • moodle
    • need to check (Adelaide High School uses it)
  • paper
    • for example 'blue folder' for school-to-parent communication (teacher puts notes into it by hand every day and this is put into a child's backpack)
    • laborious and inefficient

Schools listing (* = opportunity classes school)

By size (SA):