Parents and students have become important school community stakeholder groups and software developers ignore them at their peril.
Global school management software Staffroom has added two new functions to the software – a calendar and a web site that gives parents and students access into the school management system.
“This tool was designed through the experience of a principal for the benefit of staff and feedback from headmasters confirms they have no idea how a school can run without this software, so the additional calendar and parents portals will further enhance its usability,” says Ian Light, CEO of Eiffel Corp, the South African company licensed to distribute Staffroom throughout Africa.
“Parents are a vital part of any school ecosystem, and the school fabric will be strengthened by the addition of the OnTime and InTouch parent and student portals to Staffroom,” he adds.
Light says many parents feel frustrated by school communication.  “With the additional portals, parents will now have direct access to information which affects their families such as timetabling, homework, reports and school announcements.”
Studies also show that parents that are involved in their child’s education will influence children to more likely develop a strong, positive sense of efficacy for successfully achieving in school-related tasks, than children whose parents are not involved.
“Our new modules aim to bridge the communication gap and to allow and encourage parents to be more involved with their children’s academic performance and sporting activities in school,” he adds.
“Schools can use the portal to share useful information with families about their children and about activities at the school with easy-to-use ‘social media’ style dashboards and interfaces.
“Most parents are familiar with social media and the developers of Staffroom have designed the system with simplicity and flexibility in mind in instant, real-time,” adds Light.
The Staffroom OnTime module allows the school to easily create calendars and timetables for important school events that can then be shared with school staff, parents and students in a variety of ways.  Each staff member, parent or student gets their own custom calendar which only includes information about the events that apply to them.
Benefits include:
* Easily create calendars or timetables for classes, subject groups, or other groups such as extra mural groups;
* Staff members, parents and students only see the events that apply to them in their own custom calendar;
* Quickly and easily find out where any student or staff member is at any time by looking at their calendar in their profile;
* Share calendars with school staff, parents and students within Staffroom, using the InTouch portal, using compatible calendar clients like Microsoft Outlook on computers, tablets and mobile phones, or updates to events are automatically included in everyone’s calendars and timetables.
* Manage the booking of rooms and other resources for your events and easily see when these are booked and available.
The InTouch portal is a website that students and parents can use to see information about their family and school.
Schools can use the portal to share useful information with families about their children and about activities at the school.  InTouch is a convenient way to help keep parents and students up to date with a variety of information, including:
* School announcements;
* Upcoming events;
* Calendar and timetable information;
* Student demographic information;
* Student journals;
* Correspondence sent to the family;
* Homework tasks;
* Student behavior; and
* Copies of term reports.