Our company, Kinvolved, began our journey with KiNVO in 2012. Our mission has stood strong since day one. To see any gains in student achievement, students must be present, and ready to learn.
Our hypothesis was, and still is that, if schools send attendance-tailored text messages to students’ kinship networks, then attendance will improve. Parental involvement is the single most fundamental piece of the absenteeism puzzle. Without the support of parents, regardless of their zip code, socioeconomic status, or linguistic background, we will not see the measurable gains in academic achievement that our students need to be successful.
Research proves that when schools include families, attendance improves. More than 1,000 educators in the New York City Department of Education used KiNVO to intentionally involve parents. More than 16,000 parents across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens received almost 1 million text messages about their students’ attendance, behavior, and academic performance during the 2015-2016 school year.
Such collective action is powerful, as we can see in the numbers. Attendance across Kinvolved high schools improved 13 times the rate of improvement across of all the New York City Department of Education’s high schools. Our high schools improved attendance by 2.6%.
Across all K-12 schools partnered with Kinvolved, attendance improved by 1.6%, three times the average school’s rate of improvement.* This means that on average, 400 more students per day attended school. This is the equivalent of filling an entire school building with students each day who would have otherwise not been in class.
This is just the beginning of our efforts to serve these schools. This year, as we build on the momentum of our 2015-2016 impact, Kinvolved promises to:
- Ensure attendance data is accessible to all parents. Access to attendance information is fundamental. Parents must be included in the attendance conversation from the first day of school. We continue to improve upon our communication features by offering picture messaging and two-way translations of messages in more than 55 languages. Attendance data does no good sitting in a database or on a paper form.
- Extend opportunity to students through KiNVO. Historically, we have only offered two-way, translated parent messaging via SMS, email, robocall, and picture messaging. With select schools, we will pilot direct-to-student communication to close the communication gap between educators and students. We are confident that this will ensure students are more included in the blossoming conversation KiNVO inspires between schools and families.
- Support administrators in holding all school staff, parents, and students accountable. One quarter of all NYCDOE students were considered chronically absent last year. This means that they missed 10% of school days. Our technology strives to ensure that attendance data is shared with not just parents, but administrators in real-time with instant emails to principals, documenting students who were absent from or skipped class. KiNVO also offers more than 20 reports, visualizing attendance data to quickly identify at-risk students.
Our company is honored to have the opportunity to aid schools in elevating student attendance, performance, and lifelong opportunity. We are grateful to the educators, administrators, and parents who relentlessly work to ensure each and every student is present and ready to learn. We look forward to continue this upward momentum as 2016 ends, and we begin a new chapter in 2017.
We invite you to join us in our movement. Visit www.kinvolved.com for more information, or email us at hello@Kinvolved.com to bring KiNVO by Kinvolved to your school.
*Attendance data analyzed is based on publicly available data from the NYCDOE.
This blog post was guest written by Alexandra Meis, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer (LinkedIn).
Alexandra Meis is Co-founder and Chief Product Officer for Kinvolved. Alex is responsible for overseeing all matters related to the development of the product, the technical team, as well as Kinvolved’s impact-related work. Alex has taken the Kinvolved product from wireframes in 2012, to a one-school beta test in the 2012-2013 school year to reach 50,000 stakeholders in eight states in the 2015-2016 school year. She also managed development of and ongoing support for Kinvovled’s Campus Kit, a Robin Hood Foundation funded app.
Alex holds an MPA in Health Policy and Analysis from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, and a BA in Psychology with a minor in Anthropology and Sociology from Lafayette College. Alex received the Jo Ivey Boufford Award for Innovative Solutions to Public Service Challenges from New York University in 2013. She was named an Ashoka American Express Emerging Innovator in 2014. She was recently named to the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers community as a leader in entrepreneurship. She was also named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in education in 2015, with her co-founder Miriam Altman.