Website review by
Stephanie Trautman, Common Sense Media
ParentSquare Website Poster Image
Helpful communication tool for schools, parents, not kids.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn that this site isn't aimed toward kids, but parents can learn about what's happening in their child's classroom or at their school. The entire school community can use this tool for communication and engagement, and it can be a one-stop site for all school-to-home communication. It doesn't boast an online gradebook, so parents may need to access that elsewhere, but the communication is highly effective and engaging. ParentSquare might not be for kids, but the tools designed for parents should help them stay fully engaged in their kids' schools.

Positive Messages

Offers great communication tools, such as postings from teachers, administrators, a school calendar, a school directory, and school photo-sharing, file-sharing on a safe, secure site.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that ParentSquare is an online tool that allows for communication, organization, and engagement between parents and schools. Parents can access posts, events, photos, files, and a directory on the site. School administrators and teachers can post polls and use two-way messaging via the Web, email, and text messages. There's nothing inappropriate available on this site for parents to be worried about.

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What's it about?

Parents, teachers, and administrators can communicate in PARENTSQUARE through posting events, photos, files, and updates. Administrators can see how many parents viewed the post, ask for items, or request volunteers or ask for an RSVP to an event. The events are integrated in a school calendar. Photos and files can be shared easily, and parents can even download photos from the site, post comments (if they're enabled), and, if schools choose, have parents upload photos into albums for others to view. The site also boasts a directory of staff and families (if this feature is enabled), and parents can directly message educators and administrators through the site.

Is it any good?

This site boasts many useful tools including an engaging and straightforward design that allows consistent communication. There's an app available for parents, along with other add-ons including public social fund drives, polls, archives, a registration app, volunteer hours, an alumni database, and smart voice alerts (which carries an additional cost). The site is social in its nature, allowing parents to connect with teachers and administrators through direct messages, polls, posts, photos, and files. It's great for connecting and communicating with parents as well, but it's biggest strike is that it leaves kids completely out of the equation. Kids may be talked about through discussions on the site, but they don't have any way to provide their take on a discussion. ParentSquare is meant for parent engagement, and, overall, it does a good job, but the lack of kid interaction, especially for matters pertaining to their school activities, could make information a tad bit one-sided and biased.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sharing and privacy with their kids. When is it OK to post photos of others online, and when is it not? Should you identify kids online? Why, or why not?

  • Talk about expectations from a teacher. How can a child meet those expectations, and how can parents help kids achieve those goals?

Website details

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