Alert Solutions Blog

Old VS. New: Why K-12 Teachers Should Embrace EdTech

Posted by Nina Caliri on Thu, May 23, 2019 @ 10:05 AM

As technology continues to evolve and develop, it’s steadily taking over the K-12 education space. Although new edtech is designed to help and assist teachers with tasks in and out of the classroom, some teachers are still on the fence.  Why is there so much resistance among teachers when it comes to new educational technology, or edtech?

EdTech - Education Technology

The Ed Advocate says there are many anti-tech teachers due to the power of tradition. A teacher-centered approach in which K-12 teachers are sharing their wisdom with their students and classrooms, engaging the class, and motivating them to be the best they can is the more traditional way to teach.  Now education is changing to more of a student-centered approach instead. The Ed Advocate explains, “In the student-centered approach to education, the teacher serves as a guide who facilitates the learning process, instead of seeking to control it.” Teachers can utilize edtech to help facilitate the student-centered approach to teaching.

Another key reason teachers haven’t completely embraced edtech is because of the lack of training on the different technologies that could help them. Older generations of teachers simply did not have access to the newer edtech that is out there, and even the younger generations are not fully trained on how edtech can help them in the classroom.

Edtech …Out With the Old, In With the New

  • Traditional Attendance Calls vs. Automated Attendance Alerts
    Chronic absenteeism and truancy are plaguing K-12 schools and districts across the country. Each day school administrators are calling parents to report their children are absent, taking up valuable time that could easily be used on other administrative tasks. Introducing Automated Attendance Alert edtech! With automated attendance alerts educators don’t have to worry about calling home as the alert is sent automatically to parents or guardians using their preferred communication method through a school notification platform. This is more efficient than manually calling parents, allows for accurate attendance reporting, and saves staff hours of time.

  • Parent-Teacher Meetings vs. Video Conferences & Calls
    Nowadays there are a high number of working parents who may not be able to attend parent-teacher meetings due to busy schedules, travels, and meetings. By using digital tools such as Skype or Google Hangout teachers can set up video conferences to ensure good parental involvement and parent engagement without parents without having to rearrange their work schedule.

  • Sending Home Paper Information vs. Digitally Sending Information
    Sending students home with field trip approval slips and announcements is not always the most efficient way to get information into the hands of a parent or guardian. Edtech school notification platforms are a great way to communicate important information with parents and ensure they receive it. Our school notification platform, SwiftK12, allows teachers to communicate more effectively with parents and improve parent engagement and response. With secure document delivery, teachers can also automatically email report cards, progress reports, transcripts, and more to student families. This again ensures delivery with real-time reporting, reduces risk of message interception by students, and also reduces paper, ink, and mailing costs.

  • Snow Days vs. Digital Learning Days
    For those living in areas in the U.S. with harsh winters, snow days can take a toll on learning opportunities for students. Even though students may not complain about multiple snow days, edtech is making it possible for some K-12 schools and districts to host ‘digital learning days’ in replacement of the traditional snow day. Anderson School District 5 in South Carolina was selected to be a part of an eLearning pilot program. This program allows students to access their assignments at home via Google Classroom with Chromebook devices. “At the end of the day, it makes common sense and financial sense to implement this program,” Superintendent Tom Wilson said in a news release. “No longer will we need to run buses mid-June for a makeup day that only a quarter of our students attend.”

  • Reporting Bullying Incidents In-Person vs. Anonymous Tip Lines
    Bullying is a problem every K-12 school wants to eliminate in all classrooms. It’s difficult for teachers to intervene with every single bullying incident that occurs inside and outside their classrooms, and with the growth of cyberbullying it becomes more and more problematic. Utilizing an edtech solution like an anonymous bullying tip line can help! Our Speak Up! Anti-Bullying Management platform was designed for schools to help them dramatically reduce school bullying and cyberbullying incidents by allowing students to make reports anonymously.

As technology continues to evolve, Alert Solutions does too. By implementing edtech in your classroom, you could save valuable time, increase parent engagement, and reduce bullying incidents, all while promoting your student-centered teaching approach. There is a lot more educational technology out there. So, teachers… it’s time to embrace edtech!

If you’re interested in any of the edtech tools Alert Solutions has to offer we’d be happy to assist. Please contact us today!

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Topics: bullying, cyberbullying, attendance, school announcement, educational technology, power announcement, powerschool, parent engagement, parent communication, technology trends

LGBTQ Bullying: Startling Statistics Prove It Must Be Addressed in K-12 Schools

Posted by Tara Gibson on Mon, May 20, 2019 @ 09:05 AM

It’s no secret: high school is no walk in the park. With the ever-changing student challenges, online social media pressures and educational standards, on top of going through puberty, young adults don’t have it easy. Teenagers who identify as LGBTQ unfortunately can have it much worse. 

Startling LGBTQ Bullying Statistics

Mental Health America and the Human Rights Campaign report the following:

LGBTQ Bullying

  • Only 37% of LGBTQ youth report being happy, whereas 67% of non-LGBTQ youth report being happy.
  • 80% of LGBTQ youth believe they will be happy eventually and things will get better, with nearly half believing they’ll need to move away from their current town to find happiness.
  • Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts
  • LGBTQ youth identify bullying as the second most important problem in their lives after non-accepting families
  • LGBTQ youth who reported they’re frequently harassed in school had a lower GPA than students who were less often harassed
  • One survey revealed that more than one-third of gay respondents had missed an entire day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe there.
  • 60% of LGBTQ students did not report incidents to school staff. One third of those who did report an incident said staff did nothing in response.

The above are just some of the startling statistics that affect both LQBTQ teen’s mental health and their educational success.

The Tragic Loss of Nigel Shelby & Others

Nigel Shelby was just 15 years old when he took his own life this year due to extreme anti-LGBTQ bullying at his school. Nigel’s mother, Camika Shelby, described Nigel as “outgoing” and “always full of joy, full of light, he was always singing, always dancing.” She also said “I don’t want him to be remembered as a kid who was bullied for being gay and who took his own life. He was so much more than that. He was sunshine. He was just a great spirit to have around and it just breaks my heart because I feel like he had so much more love to give."

Nigel is not the only young LGBTQ teen to commit suicide. Unfortunately suicide is the second leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers, with the young LGBTQ community being at great risk due to bullying, social stigmas, family rejection, harassment, and abuse. The Human Rights Campaign tells us “Addressing these startling statistics starts with schools and communities alike working to foster safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ young people.” So, how can your school help young, at-risk, LQBTQ teens?

4 Ways Your K-12 School Can Address LGBTQ Bullying

There are several ways you can both address LGBTQ bullying instances, and also create a warm and safe environment for all students in your K-12 school.

  1. Get Your Staff on Board
    Having a group of supportive and understanding educators and/or school administrators gives LGBTQ students people they can go to. Students should feel comfortable coming forward to talk about bullying instances and see you as an ally. We recommend brushing up on LGBTQ terms and creating an inclusive learning environment, which we have outlined in a recent blog post.

  2. Create a Gay-Straight Alliance School Club
    Creating a GSA school club creates a safe space for LGBTQ students, and a supportive network of their student and faculty peers. Mental Health America says, “Students who attended schools with GSAs reported fewer homophobic remarks, more intervention from school personnel and a greater sense of connectedness.”

  3. Develop Strict Anti-Bullying Rules
    We encourage implementing strict anti-bullying rules for all students, and making sure staff carry out required discipline for those who break bullying rules. According to Mental Health America, “Students reported that school staff intervened twice as often in schools with comprehensive bullying/harassment policies.”

  4. Implement Anonymous Anti-Bullying Platform
    Some students feel safer when they’re able to report bullying and cyberbullying incidents anonymously. Putting a system in place that allows for anonymity, such as our Speak Up! Anti-Bullying Platform, your K-12 school could drastically reduce bullying. Here’s how it works:
    • Your school receives a unique local phone number
    • Students, parents and staff can leave voice or text messages anonymously
    • A designated school administrator is notified of new messages and can respond instantly
    • Messages are archived indefinitely for easy access and online reporting

Interested in Speak Up? Download our brochure today!

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Topics: student health, bullying, cyberbullying, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, school climate

Do You Have an Inclusive Classroom? Protect Your LGBTQ Students

Posted by Tara Gibson on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 @ 10:03 AM

Putting a focus on creating an inclusive learning environment for the young LGBTQ populations in K-12 schools is more important than ever. While there are more LGBTQ leaders represented in politics, media, and entertainment industries, schools can still be a very challenging place for LGBTQ kids. At a younger age children are questioning and discovering exactly who they are, which is why it’s essential to make sure you have an inclusive classroom and a safe place for kids to learn.

LGBTQ Inclusive Classroom - Rainbow Puzzle Pieces

Studies have shown LGBTQ students are much more likely to experience bullying and harassment in school, which leads to absenteeism and a higher risk of suicide. Mary Gilreath, a teacher in Colorado, goes out of her way to address gender identity in her classroom. Gilreath says “it’s a safety issue and a mental health issue for kids," pointing to the recent suicide of a 9-year-old Denver boy who was bullied after he came out to his classmates.

A 2013 study reports more than 74% of LGBTQ students were verbally harassed, and 36% were physically harassed due to their sexual orientation. Truly shocking statistics. Bullying in any way is terrible, but bullying directed at young children who are discovering their gender identity can be extremely detrimental to a child’s mental and physical health. At Alert Solutions, we do not tolerate bullying or cyberbullying in any way. Our Speak Up! Anti-Bullying platform was designed to help drastically reduce bullying incidents in K-12 schools, while maintaining student anonymity.

Before working on an inclusive classroom, teachers and school administrators need to understand gender identity terms. Without this knowledge teachers will struggle to fully grasp the range of identities within these communities, which automatically puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to supporting their students as allies. Accredited Online Schools put together a helpful list of the most common terms that relate to LGBTQ groups. They include:

  • Ally
    An ally is somebody who doesn’t identify as LGBTQ, but supports any and all individuals who do. They also advocate on their behalf.
  • Asexual
    Asexual individuals are not sexually attracted to either sex.
  • Bisexual
    Bisexual individuals are attracted to both sexes, either in physical or emotional ways, or both.
  • Cisgender
    A cisgender individual is somebody who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Closeted
    An individual who has not yet revealed their gender identity or sexual orientation publicly.
  • Coming Out/Disclosure
    When an LGBTQ individual discloses their sexual orientation or gender identity to their friends, family, and community.
  • Gay/Lesbian
    Individuals who are emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to someone of the same gender.
  • Gender-Expansive
    Gender-expansive individuals believe there is a wider spectrum of gender identities than just male and female.
  • Gender Expression
    How one expresses gender identity using outward appearances, behaviors or other means.
  • Gender Identity
    Gender identity is how somebody sees themselves, not by the sex assigned at birth.
  • Gender-Neutral
    Gender neutral “refers to a number of different concepts, all of which revolve around neutrality. It could be used to discuss gender-neutral pronouns, bathrooms or identities.”
  • Questioning
    Individuals who are questioning are people who are exploring their sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Transgender
    Individuals who are transgender don’t identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. They choose to express a different gender identity.
  • Transition
    Transition is “when an LGBT individual takes steps legally, medically, or socially to affirm their gender identity. This may include changing one’s name or seeking gender reassignment surgeries.”

Having knowledge of the above terms as a teacher or school administrator is the starting point of creating an inclusive classroom. Without knowing the several terms that relate to the LGBTQ community teachers may struggle to advocate for their students as allies, which would create an unsupportive learning environment where children spend most of their time.

5 Ways to Create an Inclusive Classroom

A Queer Endeavor is an organization that helps teachers navigate how to intervene when they see anti-LGBTQ bullying and how to be there for students who are feeling vulnerable. They put together a list of helpful tips on how to make your classroom an inclusive classroom:

  1. Let Students Identify Themselves
    On the first day of class have students fill out index cards with their preferred name and pronoun. Teachers should update their class list, and make sure to address their students by their preferred name and pronoun.

  2. Avoid Gendered Language
    Teachers should avoid addressing the class with gendered language such as “Ladies and Gentlemen” or “Boys and Girls”.

  3. Avoid Grouping by Gender
    Instead of grouping students by gender for activities and projects, group them by preferences such as ice cream flavors or favorite animals. You could also group by birthdays or birth months.

  4. All-Gender Bathrooms
    If your K-12 school has all-gender bathrooms, make sure your students know exactly where they are. Teachers should also be clear they are for everybody.

  5. Solidify Your Ally Status
    Make sure your students know you are their ally. For example; you could hang a rainbow flag, share your own pronouns with students, and start up or support LGBTQ groups or clubs.

Having an inclusive classroom will benefit everybody in the class! LGBTQ students will feel safer knowing they have an ally in a teacher or school administrator, and will likely have their classmates as their allies as well.

At Alert Solutions we understand the importance of having an inclusive classroom. We work hard to help K-12 schools and districts battle and tackle bullying incidents with our Speak Up! Anti-Bullying platform.  Want to learn more? Download our brochure today!

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Topics: bullying, cyberbullying, school announcement, school safety, power announcement, powerschool, education, school climate

How to Protect Students From Cyberbullying

Posted by Tara Gibson on Mon, Jan 07, 2019 @ 11:01 AM

Recently, Apple started sending updates to iPhone users with ‘daily screen time’ alerts, showing individuals the amount of time they spent on their smartphones throughout the week. Even social media accounts like Instagram now allow users to see their average app usage over certain time periods. 

Girl Experiencing Cyberbullying

Technology is continuing to develop and take strides in the digital world, which means young adults and students are being brought along for the ride. As more students are gaining access to smartphones and other devices at an earlier age, cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent in K-12 schools.  

Not surprisingly, teens have almost unlimited access to their personal smartphones and nearly half admit to being online constantly – the number of cyberbullying instances seen by them is not a shocking figure when screen time is taken into account. Cyberbullying is not just limited to mean and hateful comments on user’s profiles, but also includes more extreme forms of cyberstalking and impersonation.

Below are just a few startling statistics on cyberbullying:

  • 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person
  • 61% of overweight teens are bullied online
  • 52% of young adults have reported being cyberbullied
  • 20% of students say that cyberbullying happens to them once or twice a month

K-12 schools need to take these statistics into account when working to address bullying because not all incidents occur face-to-face. To better understand the common types of cyberbullying, we’ve outlined them below from this helpful infographic:

  • Exclusion
    Exclusion is the act of intentionally excluding others from an online group or community.
  • Cyberstalking
    Cyberstalking happens when a bully continually sends cruel and unwanted messages to a victim and/or tags them in posts online that they do not want to be tagged in.
  • Gossip
    Gossiping occurs when bullies post or send mean messages about someone that damage their reputation, relationship, or confidence.
  • Outing/Trickery
    Cyberbullies will trick their peers into revealing embarrassing personal secrets which they will later share online.
  • Impersonation
    Impersonation occurs when a bully creates a fake account to exploit trust, or when a bully hacks into an account to post messages that will damage a person’s reputation or relationship.
  • Other types of cyberbullying include harassment, cyber threats, and flaming.

Cyberbullying doesn’t just affect teens’ reputations and relationships, but also has a serious impact on their academic success. Unfortunately, the occurrence of cyberbullying among students in K-12 schools appears to be correlated with attendance. A whopping 6.7 million children are not attending school because of bullying.

Three Ways to Protect Students From Cyberbullying

Here’s what your school can do to help battle this growing issue:

  • Maintain Great Parent Engagement
    Parent engagement has been shown to positively impact student success. Keep parents involved in their child’s education and encourage them to look out for bullying warning signs.
    * Some
    warning signs to look out for include a child showing emotional responses to what’s happening on their device (laughter, crying, or shock), avoiding social situations, and losing interest in people & activities.
    If you see any instances occurring in the classroom, notify the parents immediately. Teachers and administrators should also listen to parents who report bullying, and investigate reported circumstances immediately.
  • Establish Rules & Consequences for Bullying
    Strict bullying policies should be in place for both the classrooms and schoolwide. Enforce consequences to students who do not abide by these policies, and ensure students know how to treat each other fairly and with respect.
  • Encourage Students to Speak Up!
    Implementing an anonymous communication platform will help students feel more comfortable when reporting bullying incidents. A program like Speak Up!, an anti-bullying monitoring and management platform, was designed with one thing in mind: to dramatically reduce bullying & cyberbullying incidents.

“Solutions to bullying are not simple,” the site authors of advise. “They involve the entire school community — students, families, administrators, teachers and staff such as bus drivers, nurses, cafeteria and front office staff — in creating a culture of respect.”

Get your staff on board and tackle the growing cyberbullying issue together. Alert Solutions offers great bullying prevention resources for K-12 schools and districts including tips, tricks, and effective strategies. Check them out and download today!

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Topics: bullying, cyberbullying, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, school programs

It’s National Bullying Prevention Month – How K-12 Schools Can Help

Posted by Philip Young on Mon, Oct 08, 2018 @ 10:10 AM

As part of National Bullying Prevention Month this October, k-12 schools across the nation are calling attention to bullying, trying to alleviate the problem experienced by as many as one-third of U.S. students.

Children Bullying in School

By definition, bullying involves unwanted aggressive behavior coupled with an imbalance of power. And these days, bullying is widespread enough that nearly 71 percent of young people in the U.S. have observed it in school settings. According to, bullying can happen online or in-person and be both physical and verbal.

At its worst it can lead to feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion and despair, as well as the depression and anxiety that can contribute to suicidal behavior. Bullying in schools can also impact students’ physical and emotional safety and harm their ability to learn.

While no federal laws apply to bullying prevention, several state laws are established. That means educators are often legally obligated to intervene and to file reports about bullying in schools, particularly when such issues pertain to race, color, national origin, sex, disability or religion.

“Solutions to bullying are not simple,” the site authors advise. “They involve the entire school community — students, families, administrators, teachers and staff such as bus drivers, nurses, cafeteria and front office staff — in creating a culture of respect.”

So what actions can your k-12 school take to work toward bullying prevention?

  • Implement evidence-based curricula to convey anti-bullying messaging, selecting a program based on your district’s demographics, capacity and resources. You can always adjust the curricula based on staff input about bullying prevention measures likely to work in your school.
  • Ensure your entire staff understands what defines bullying, what policies and rules your district will enforce and how to follow through on that enforcement.
  • Teach students, parents and staff how to intervene and report bullying. Bystanders who step in during a bullying incident can be enormously effective, according to research.
  • Stage competitions inviting students to express themselves by submitting artwork or creative writing centering around bullying prevention.
  • Encourage staff and parents to keep the lines of communication open with students, modeling kindness and respect and encouraging them to seek help when needed.

One tool that can be enormously helpful for staying on top of bullying prevention is Alert Solutions’ Speak Up! tool. Speak Up! allows parents, staff or students to anonymously send a phone call or text message to your school to report bullying and cyberbullying incidents. It also allows for a designated school administrator to anonymously communicate with that individual.

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Topics: bullying, cyberbullying, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, school programs

Attendance Awareness Month - Battle Absenteeism This School Year

Posted by Tara Gibson on Mon, Sep 10, 2018 @ 12:09 PM

A student who misses at least 15 days of school in a school year is considered to be chronically absent. About 1 in 7 students in the United States fall into this category, making it very hard for them to be successful in school. A wide variety of factors impact a child’s ability to make it to school each day, including health challenges, difficult family situations, bullying at school, lack of transportation and safety concerns.


Students in every grade level are affected by chronic absenteeism, but the rate tends to rise at the high school level. Children who are chronically absent at the beginning of their school career — preschool, kindergarten and first grade — are more likely to fall behind early in areas like reading. This can lead to not only more absenteeism, but even dropping out of school altogether as a teen 

September is Attendance Awareness Month! Here are five ways to combat chronic absenteeism and create a school community that actively supports student attendance:

  1. Positive Attendance Messaging
    Everyone from teachers and administrative staff to other community members can help build a welcoming school climate by using supportive language in all communications, from face-to-face and emails to outdoor signage. A supportive school culture that shows a safe, respectful and caring community can go a long way in making students and their parents feel comfortable — comfortable attending school and comfortable asking for help when attendance gets hard.
  1. Parent Involvement
    Encouraging parent involvement can be critical to decreasing student absenteeism. Younger students rely on parents and other family members to get them prepared and out the door for school each day. Older students, while more independent, can still benefit from a close family member or trusted parent checking in on their school experience.
  1. Automated Attendance Alerts
    Utilize school notification systems or activities that are already in place to distribute attendance messages. Incorporate the importance of attendance at events early in the school year like back-to-school night, orientation and parent-teacher conferences. Provide consistent messaging throughout the year in school newsletters, on the website and on social media. When a student is absent, use an alert system like SwiftK12 to automatically notify parents or guardians with a personalized message using their preferred communication method.
  1. Listen to the Students
    Give students the opportunity to tell you what's keeping them from school. A product like Speak Up! allows students to anonymously report bullying and other unsafe behavior via text or voice. By using the platform, students are able to easily report dangerous behavior without worrying about repercussions from other students. Speak Up! enables quick communication between students and school administration and removes the fear of retaliation.
  1. Student Attendance Incentives
    Providing incentives for students can help increase attendance. Be careful not to only reward those students with perfect attendance, but to also reward students for making progress on improving attendance. Rewards can be individual or school-wide.

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Topics: bullying, attendance, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, school programs, truancy

Chronic Absenteeism? Make Next Year’s School Attendance Rates Soar!

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 @ 11:07 AM

If your k-12 school system is challenged to maintain healthy student attendance, it’s far from alone.

The U.S. Department of Education reports chronic absenteeism is prevalent across the country - affecting all races and ethnicities of students. Data released this year shows 15 percent of all K-12 students in the U.S. — a whopping 8 million youth — were chronically absent over the 2015-16 school year. That’s a million more than the count in 2013-14.

Ultimately, that’s as problematic for the students as the schools missing out on the funding.

 Student In Classroom"Frequent absences from school can be devastating to a child's education,” advises U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. in one DOE study. “Missing school leads to low academic achievement and triggers drop outs. Millions of young people are missing opportunities in post secondary education, good careers and a chance to experience the American dream."

In response, education analysts have developed tools around parent engagement and anti-bullying measures geared toward tackling chronic absenteeism. And summer can be an ideal time to work on your school’s improvement plan.

Research by Attendance Works shows parent engagement can have a profound effect on remediating absenteeism, which is why it advises schools to take steps such as orienting parents early about attendance expectations; communicating often and trying to build relationships with parents; providing parents with key school contacts and, when necessary, intervening through home visits or referrals to truancy officers.

The key is often careful and diligent management. “Don’t assume if a child is chronically absent it’s a signal parents do not care about the child’s education or attendance,” advises the study. “Ask about what they already do that works. Find out if they can think of any positive examples of activities or supports that made it easier to get their child to school.”

Helping solve bullying issues can also make a dent. A recent study found U.S. schools lose tens of millions of dollars annually when children miss school to avoid bullies, lowering daily average attendance rates that dictate governmental funding.

In one survey of public schools in California, 10.4 percent of students in grades 7, 9 and 11 reported missing at least one day of school over the previous month due to feeling unsafe. While most schools already have anti-bullying programs in place, your school may find significant room for improvement when it comes to management of real-life situations.

Talk to Alert Solutions about our school resources including best practices, tips, tricks and popular strategies related to chronic absenteeism and bullying prevention.

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Topics: bullying, attendance, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, parent engagement, truancy

Is Your Parent Engagement Strategy Working? 3 Signs To Look for at Your K-12 School

Posted by Sarah Autore on Wed, Jan 03, 2018 @ 13:01 PM

Good parent engagement is a common goal of any school because it has so many benefits that ultimately lead to student success – this much we know.

However, a more challenging aspect of parent engagement is actually determining how to measure the success or effectiveness of the parent engagement strategies you put into place at your k-12 school. Not only is it vital to implement parent engagement plans, but school administrators must also take the time to determine if those plans are actually working.

While every k-12 school environment is different, there are some common indicators you can consider to determine if your school’s parent engagement strategies are effective. Signs of effective parent engagement include:

1. Increase in Attendance Rates
When parents are engaged in their child’s learning, school is made a top priority. This teacherparents.jpgtranslates into higher student attendance rates and lower rates of chronic absenteeism. It’s up to both school staff and parents to ensure that the importance of regular attendance is cultivated both in class and at home. When attendance rates rise, it’s a good indicator that parents are committed and engaged.

2. Increase in Graduation Rates
There are many factors that go into making sure your students are succeeding and making it to graduation. Perhaps one of the most important factors is good parent engagement. In fact, studies show students who have consistently engaged parents are more likely to graduate than students who do not. If you’re seeing an increase in graduation rates at your school, then it’s likely in part to good parent engagement strategies.

3. Lower Rates of Bullying
Children learn many of their positive AND negative behaviors at home, so it’s likely that students could pick up bullying behaviors from what they experience at home. Parents who are engaged are less likely to demonstrate negative behaviors at home because they understand the effect it can have on their child and their academic success. Studies have also proven that schools with higher parent engagement rates usually see less incidents of bullying.

Did You Know?  Alert Solutions offers a suite of k-12 school notification systems designed to improve parent engagement and communication. To learn more, click here.

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Topics: bullying, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, parent engagement

Improving School Safety at Your K-12 School – 4 Programs You Can Implement Today

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

Research shows students who feel unsafe at school tend to perform worse academically and are at a higher risk of being chronically absent.  


School safety is important to protect all students and school personnel from violence that includes:

The issue of school safety is a major concern at all levels of a school’s administration. People who work in k-12 schools not only teach students about the world, but have to protect them from bad situations as well.

Keeping schools safe allows students to look forward to being in a positive environment that promotes social and creative learning. To help improve school safety at your k-12 school, try implementing one of these programs:

1. Set Clear Rules & Limits for Students on Violence
Ensure your students know what constitutes unacceptable behavior. A good way to ‘get the word out’ to all students is to hold a school-wide assembly.

2. Bully-Proof Your Classroom
Bullying is a crisis affecting k-12 schools across the country. Take a proactive approach against bullying by engaging students in bullying prevention strategies and responding to hurtful behavior instantly.

3. Start a “Walking School Bus” Program
More students are finding themselves traveling to school in organized groups known as “walking school buses”.  “Walking school bus” programs ensure all students get to school safely and can also decrease chronic tardiness!

4. Maintain Consistent Parent Communication
Two-thirds of parents have never talked to their children’s teachers about school safety issues, and fewer than one-quarter of parents say their child’s school frequently communicates with them about their school safety policy. Encourage your school to communicate with parents often using communication channels they prefer.

Did You Know? Alert Solutions offers a suite of k-12 school notification systems designed to improve parent communication and engagement. To learn more, click here.

SwiftK12 Brochure Download

Topics: bullying, attendance, school safety, power announcement, powerschool, education, school programs

Bullying Can Cost K-12 Schools Millions in Lost Funding, New Study Shows

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Oct 31, 2017 @ 11:10 AM

According to Stomp Out Bullying, 8% of students stay home on any given school day because they’re afraid of being bullied.

When students are absent from school to avoid bullying and cyberbullying, states across the country lose millions of dollars in funding.

New research from The University of Texas at Austin highlights the hidden cost to communities in states that use student attendance rates to calculate public school funding.attendancehomelessstudents-resized-600.bmp

States including California, Texas and Illinois use a formula known as ‘average daily attendance’ to allocate certain school funds.

Average Daily Attendance is defined as the total days of student attendance divided by the total days of instruction.

Schools that receive funding based on this formula rather than their total student enrollment experience lower revenue when a student misses school. For example, California loses $276M in funding each year on average.

There is a strong correlation between school bullying and student attendance rates. Here are some statistics from a survey:

  • 500,000 students have stayed home from school many times because of bullying
  • 10% of the students surveyed  stayed home from school because of cyberbullying 
  • 4 million students skip school at some point during the school year due to bullying

K-12 schools need to focus on keeping students in school, and implementing an effective bullying prevention strategy is a great way to start.

Alert Solutions offers some great bullying prevention resources for k-12 schools including tips, tricks and popular strategies. Download them today!

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Topics: bullying, cyberbullying, attendance, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, truancy

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