Pickaway County CAO
Pickaway’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs serve 274 children in a small rural county in central Ohio. They offer a home-based program for infants and toddlers and an infant/toddler classroom, as well as full-day and half-day center-based classrooms for preschoolers, across their five sites.
Pickaway County wanted to be able to communicate with all of their families in a time-effective manner, but struggled with consistently contacting families through phone and email. In addition, staff were using their personal devices to communicate with families, which not only compromised the staff members’ privacy, but also prevented administrators from being able to monitor communication between staff and parents.
Family Engagement Goals
Family Engagement Challenges
Donna, the Head Start Director, wanted a better way to share information with families and get them truly engaged in their child’s learning, in and out of the classroom. While they were sending home paper flyers and handouts, they had little way of knowing whether they were effectively engaging with the majority of their families.
Through Learning Genie, Pickaway’s admin and staff are able to communicate efficiently with families through secure two-way messaging and are able to share specific information and resources to better empower parents as their child’s primary educator.
Increasing at-home reading
Through the Learning Genie videobook feature, teachers sent links to books read at school and promoted reading at home. Families have read 58 books thus far, which demonstrates that families are becoming comfortable and excited about receiving these resources. 85.3% of the time spent reading was by mother figures.
Teachers have been consistently sharing a variety of resources with parents, including pictures of their child’s classroom activities, video books, educational videos, and flyers on average at least once a week, which has helped them engage parents in their child’s daily learning.
Donna, the Director, and Sheri, the Family Services Coordinator, were surprised to see how quickly families and teachers took to the two-way communication. So far they have sent over 6,000 chats! Since improving communication was one of Pickaway’s primary goals, Learning Genie was able to effectively meet their needs.
Family Engagement Dashboard
Here is a screenshot of their agency’s family engagement dashboard, where administrators can see which engagement items are resonating well with families, and where to improve.