With so much information being shared between home and school, it is essential that schools provide equitable school-home communications for all families. Having a consistent and efficient program in place that meets the needs and preferences of each of its members is vital in schools today. Students come into the classrooms from homes where there may be multiple languages spoken.
In the US alone, 13% of the population speaks Spanish at home. For students who come from Spanish-speaking homes or homes where different languages are spoken, it is essential that teachers and schools be able to keep families informed about and involved in their child’s education. Without the right communication tools available, critical information will not reach families and families will not feel connected to their child’s education.
With an app like Bloomz, the concern that families are missing out is cast aside because of its language functionalities. Because Bloomz offers a variety of features which focus on accessibility and fostering equitable communication, every family member is included and becomes more involved. Because of potential language barriers, having functionality such as school language translation is essential. While there are many communication apps out there, such as Class Dojo and Seesaw, that can facilitate communication from home to school, they do not offer what Bloomz does in a unified and streamlined communication platform.
Reaching All Families
Equitable school-home communications require that schools understand family needs and preferences. With more than 108 languages available, Bloomz helps to reduce any potential language barriers that may exist between schools and the families they serve. Providing two-way communication for families is essential for schools who want to foster and build family engagement and develop a more active family community with the school.
Understanding the diverse needs (languages, notification, preferences) of the families and students in our school system, will help us to provide the right space that will lead to the formation of a strong and collaborative home-to-school partnership. Promoting parental and family engagement has been shown to directly and positively impact student success, and foster a supportive home-to-school connection. Increasing engagement empowers parents and engages them closely in the learning experience of their children.
While other apps like Class Dojo may offer their services for “free,” this can sometimes be a little bit misleading for schools and families. An app that is free typically does not offer as many features, especially those which promote accessibility because they come at a higher cost. However, in order to provide the most robust platform that meets the preferences and needs of all members of the school community, this is where the true value comes in.
With other communication platforms used in schools like ClassDojo or Seesaw, the cost may instead be transferred to parents which leads to inequity. Class Dojo for example, is free for teachers but the cost for premium is passed to families instead. Because of this cost issue, parents will miss out on essential and time-sensitive information from schools. Another concern is that families may miss vital information because other apps do not offer the same level of language capabilities for translation as Bloomz.
Children that come from more affluent backgrounds, have parents who become more involved in their children’s education using PBIS tools and the other features, while the children of less affluent children receive less attention. Bloomz enables educators to stay connected with parents who may have limited availability for school events or meetings. It enhances the accessibility to the support and resources needed by parents, whenever they need them. Bloomz provides this and more for families.
Breaking Through the Communication Barrier with Bloomz
Being able to provide families with the right information when they need it is essential. When it comes to our schools, not all families may have access to the resources that they need, particularly when it comes to languages.
Not all families speak the same language and as a result, important messages are missed. There are schools where half or more of their student population, involves a high percentage of different languages that are being spoken. Teachers may wonder how to best exchange information with families to keep them informed of student progress in class.
As an example, a friend works in a school where 70% of the students and their families that are non-native English speakers, and roughly 42 different languages are spoken. With this, finding a person to translate is time-consuming, costly and can be quite difficult depending on the language required. When communication tools have translation capabilities built into them, this helps alleviate the frustration that can come from not being able to understand a message.
Equity in School Communication
Through two-way AI powered translation, Bloomz ensures that the information is received by families right from day one and in their preferred language and modality (app, email, text or voice). The original message is always available for viewing and with this capability, schools can feel more confident that the messages sent are being received, understood and accessible by all members of the school community. The auto translation feature breaks the barriers and brings non-English speaking parents into the loop.
At the school and district level, being able to provide everything that students and families need through a comprehensive program and in a manner that parents and families choose is important. Recognizing when there may be barriers that limit parental engagement, enables schools to proactively develop strategies and implement the right tool to better support families. With Bloomz, schools can be confident that when it comes to information and communication, they are fostering a culture of equity through a unified, streamlined, accessible platform.