The days of Manteca Unified teachers and administrators communicating with parents almost exclusively with notes or flyers has gone the way of the slide rule.
Peachjar — an eflyer system that electronically transmits flyers on everything from school activities to offerings of outside organization approved by the school district such as Give Every Child a Chance or registration for youth sports leagues — is the latest mode of communication added to the Manteca Unified information arsenal.
And while it eliminates the need for paper flyers it doesn’t mean that it will happen.
It’s because the Manteca Unified strategy is to give parents a wide range of options so they can tailor communication modes to their personal needs whether it is via computers and tablets, apps, websites, social media, smartphones, or paper.
Messer noted outside groups such as GECAC are encouraged to use eflyer but the district will still distribute printed flyers they are provided with to families visa “back pack express delivery” if so requested.
“Communications with parents is our priority,” noted Manteca Unified Superintendent Jason Messer
To that end, the district has given parents the option to use the Parent Connect portal that requires a personal identification number (PIN) and password to access.
Parent Connect provides parents a way to view their student’s report cards, transcripts, contacts, attendance, class schedule, demographic information and more. And while parents receive printed report cards either in the mail or during parent-teacher conferences, they can also elect to receive grade updates as soon as they are posted via the Parent Connect app.
Later this school year, Manteca Unified will make Student Connect available to all seventh through 12th graders. The app means students can see their grades, assignments, and such just as their parents can via Parent Connect.
“Student voice is a critical path as we look at our next 50 years,” Messer said.
The mobile app the district rolled out Aug. 24 had 1,908 followers as of Sept. 14. Most users accessed Parent Connect followed by notifications, then social media stories and finally Peachjar.
The district’s website’s biggest users are employees with 40,252 views. The calendar on the district website has 8,844 views. The Manteca Unified Facebook page boasts 1,618 page likes as of Aug. 31 with 79 percent of the fan base being women ages 25 to 54.
High schools and elementary schools employ social media such as Twitter and Facebook accounts that are set up for everything from band, sports teams, and clubs and parent-teacher groups. That is in addition to web sites that offer everything from staff directories to school newsletters and activity calendars. The high school web sites tend to be more robust with more offerings including videos such as a campus virtual tour offered on the Manteca High website.
As for documents such as permission slips the district will continue to use paper. School officials are, however, working on an option that allows parents who elect to do so to use e-sign.
The district has a wide array of communication methods to reach parents in emergencies or in safety situations such as when fog delays school buses. Those methods include text messages, telephone, email, voicemail, newsletters, and the new app. The school and district websites also feature red alert bars that pop up at the top of the screen for communicating critical information during emergencies.
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