Why Family Engagement Matters
Family engagement is critical to early childhood development. When schools and families have a collaborative and reciprocal relationship and support a child’s development, it develops families’ understanding of their child’s abilities and children demonstrate increased motivation to learn. With effective family partnerships, enhanced by technology, “teachers can provide suggestions to help families be highly effective teachers at home” (Marrs 2019). Learn more about engaging and empowering families on our COR Advantage blog here.
Getting Set Up in COR Advantage
To get your account set up for Family Engagement, you’ll need to visit two pages: Roster and Settings.
On the Roster page you can add, edit, and remove in all of your users, students, and their family contacts. You can learn more about how to do that here.
A few things to know about adding Family Contacts:
- You can add as many family members to a child’s profile as you need!
- Family members can receive communication via email, text message, or both!
- When you add a new family member, you have the option to select a language preference. If the person’s language preference is set to a language besides English, anything you send them will be translated for them into their preferred language.
If you have a large amount of information to add in to your account, you can reach out to email@example.com, and one of our School Ambassadors can help you with a data upload.
On the Settings page you can can do a few important things:
- Navigate to Settings > Messaging to turn on and schedule your Family Digest. This convenient feature allows you to schedule information to be sent to your families at regular intervals. Learn more about the Digest here.
- Also in the Messaging Settings you can select “Show Tags on family emails”. This setting will show family members which Tags you’ve connected to each observation, so they see all of the amazing learning going on in each learning moment.
- In Family Reply Settings, you can specify where you’d like messages from your families to go. The default setting is that replies will go to all of the teachers in a child’s classroom. If you would like the replies to go to a specific teacher, or an administrator, you can add that contact information here.
What to Send to Families
Moments are observations in your account, and can be anecdotes, photos or videos. These observations can be used as evidence in children’s assessments, added into newsletters and learning journeys, and be shared directly with families! Share Moments to provide families with snapshots of student learning, insights into classroom activities, or weekly summaries.
Sending Moments is simple! Simply select your Moment > click the paper airplane icon > select your recipients and > select Send!
Storyboards are dynamic documentation panels that can be used for newsletters, learning journeys, weekly reflections, and more! Send Storyboards to share a deep look at a specific topic or to compile a large number of observations. Consider sending a Storyboard of all of the family-submitted Moments in your classroom to give each child a look at what their peers are doing! (Learn more about family-submitted Moments and COR@Home here.)
You can learn more about how to create, edit, copy, and send Storyboards here.
With Messaging, easily send text messages and emails to teachers and families. Include attachments, send Urgent messages, and keep your families in the loop with straightforward, text-based communication! Click here to learn more about how to send Messages with COR Advantage.
With the Lesson Planner feature, you are able to create lessons with steps, learning standards, and materials. Share favorite lessons (including each step!), a weekly materials list, or a weekly overview with families. Click here to learn more about using the Lesson Planner, and sending lessons to families!
As you end an assessment period, send families summaries of student development over the period with the Family Report. Built on the COR Advantage items, the Family Report includes space for observations and additional comments, enabling you to provide a complete picture of a child's development. Click here to learn more about generating and sending the Family Report.
Measuring Your Success
Learn more about reports that provide insight into your family engagement strategies. To access these Reports, navigate to Reports > Family Engagement.
Sent Messages Report
The Sent Messages Report provides a record of all communication sent out of your account. A key feature of the report is that it also tracks which family members opened the communication you sent, enabling you to track both the communication that's sent and how families are engaging with the content you share. To learn more about Sent Messages Report, click here.
Family Comments Report
Family Comments Report is where you can review all of the comments your families have posted on the Moments you’ve sent to them. This is a great way to check how your families have been reacting to the pictures you’ve shared with them! To learn more about Family Comments, what they are, and about the Report, click here.