We catch up with PTA Chair, Geraldine Archbold-Shore to find out how they have found using Classlist at Harpenden Academy.
When I first heard about Classlist my reaction was, ‘This is too good to be true – what’s the catch?!’ But there isn’t a catch. Classlist is free. It has secure data protection procedures. It’s a complete godsend for us.
At Harpenden Academy our way of communicating with parents used to be messages in book bags; posters round the school; piggy-backing on the school’s newsletter; word-of-mouth; various different Facebook pages… it was patchy and time-consuming and you couldn’t guarantee that all parents were seeing the information. Classlist has transformed that. In the two months since we joined about 95% of the children have at least one parent signed up to the site. Suddenly we have this online space that can be accessed by the whole school community.
For the PTA that means we can send out announcements; ask for volunteers for events; run surveys asking all the parents to contribute ideas. We can sell tickets for events.
We can see exactly who has bought tickets and how many people are coming to an event, which makes it easier to arrange catering or seating. As the payments are all done online through Paypal we don’t have to spend time counting cheques and cash and keeping the money locked up.
The feedback I’ve had from parents is that they love it.
They can engage with the site and what we’re doing whenever they want. They’re not missing stuff or being overwhelmed by school communications. They know where we are. They know where to find us. They know they’re part of the community. The site’s easy to use, so that makes parents engage. And most use Classlist through a phone app, so they can look at it whenever works for them.
Working parents benefit too.
The site gives them a place to connect with other parents and build bonds, even if they can’t do drop-off and pick-up. It has increased engagement throughout our school community.’