“Using the LivingTree platform, our school was able to build a much tighter community and meaningful engagement with our families. It has truly changed our level of transparency with parents and how we converse, share, and coordinate in the context of educating our children. – Eden Hinds, Briargrove Elementary Principal, Houston ISD
Briargrove Elementary serves ~910 students in the Houston School District. Nearly half the school’s population is Latino and Asian-Pacific, and 23% of students are in ESL programs. Prior to LivingTree, the school relied heavily on room parents and the PTO to relay information and volunteer opportunities to parents. Despite the combined use of fliers, email blasts, and newsletters, parents felt uninformed. Results from a 2011-2012 survey showed parents felt excluded and disconnected from the school.
In the fall of 2012, Briargrove turned to LivingTree to streamline communication and create safe, two-way engagement between teachers and parents. PTO president Ellecia Knolle explained LivingTree’s two-way engagement platform enabled admin and teachers to communicate: “for the first time, parents were equally informed.” At the end of their first year with LivingTree, parents readily voiced their renewed trust in the school.
Activity in Briargrove’s network has steadily increased with each year: Between August 1st, 2015 and March 2016, nearly 1,000 calendar events and 5,000 posts of messages, photos, and files between and across classes were shared. With over 2,500 comments, and 20,000 ‘likes,’ the school knows they’re reaching parents. As of Fall 2015, 100% of classrooms were engaged on LivingTree and fully 50% of network members were contributing content, commentary, or appreciation! Briargrove has successfully resolved the disconnect parents originally felt with the school.