ParentSquare - District rolling out new communication tool for 2024-2025 school year

  • May 24, 2024

    Snohomish School District families - 

    We are excited to share that we will be using a new communication tool for school-to-home communication in the Snohomish School District called ParentSquare beginning next school year (2024-2025). This communication platform is designed to streamline school district and school communication, keep families informed, and encourage greater engagement and connection with our schools and district. The best part of ParentSquare is that it offers translation in more than 100 languages and allows families to customize when and how they want to receive communication!

    Beginning at the start of next school year (2024-2025), all district-wide and school-wide information will be sent to families via email and/or text message and phone call through ParentSquare, including notifications for emergencies, absences, lunch balances, and inclement weather/snow days and delays. Families will receive communication automatically translated into whatever language they have designated in Skyward/Family Access as their primary home language. Families will also be able to change their language settings to any of the 100+ languages. ParentSquare will replace the district's use of School Messenger, our listserv subscription tool, and other communication platforms. 

    Families who activate their ParentSquare account will also have access to all school and district communication in one centralized location, which can be utilized through a web browser or by downloading the mobile app (iOS and Android). While activating your account is optional, it offers many features to streamline information, including:

    • Direct two-way messaging that is automatically translated (families can send messages in their home language and it will be auto-translated into English for those on the receiving end to read)
    • Consolidated, newsfeed-style communications from multiple sources in one place
    • School calendars
    • And many more features!

    Within the coming weeks and months, all families will receive more information about the platform, including an email invitation and directions on how to activate their ParentSquare account. This step is optional and is for those who want to change their language settings and have access to all school and district communication in one centralized location through ParentSquare’s web browser or mobile app. If you do not activate your account, you will still receive all important district and school communication via email and text message.

    Many other districts in the nation and region use ParentSquare as their school-to-home communication too. Other school districts currently using this platform include Northshore, Mukilteo, Monroe, Edmonds, Lake Washington, Shoreline, Bellingham, Oak Harbor, South Whidbey, Lynden, and Ferndale.

    We will roll out the system in a “soft launch” to district staff and families this June. During the June “soft launch,” our district teams will be using this period to troubleshoot issues and adjust as needed. It will also allow users to register their accounts and familiarize themselves with the system before the start of the new school year. Throughout the summer and before the start of the school year, additional resources will be provided to help users navigate the system.

    Note: ParentSquare will be used for all district-wide and school-wide communication, including school newsletters, beginning with the 2024-2025 school year. With this rollout of ParentSquare, the automated mass notification system School Messenger and our listserv subscription tool for newsletters will no longer be used as of late August 2024. Please note that the School Messenger and listserv will continue to be used through the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year.

    Our goal is for every Snohomish School District family to join ParentSquare and stay connected! Watch for more information in the coming weeks, and thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we roll out this new communication tool to better engage and effectively communicate with you!

What is ParentSquare?

  • ParentSquare is an easy-to-use communication tool that combines multiple communication streams into one convenient interface for families and staff. In 2024-2025, the Snohomish School District will transition from our current notification system, School Messenger, to a much more robust communication platform, ParentSquare. All families will receive an invitation by the district to engage with ParentSquare. From there, they'll be able to set their preferred communication mode, interact with teachers and staff, and have a one-stop shop for all district and school communication. 

    Once fully implemented, ParentSquare features include:

    • Mass notifications and urgent alerts with two-way communication
    • District, school, teacher, and classroom communication
    • Consolidated, news-feed-style contacts from multiple sources when and how they’re wanted
    • Mobile application for staff and parents/guardians (iOS and Android)
    • Attendance notifications
    • Direct messaging with two-way translation
    • Social media and website share 
    • Appointment sign-ups
    • Calendar and RSVP
    • Volunteering and classroom supply sign-ups
    • And much more!

    Please note that not all features noted above will be implemented for the 2024-2025 school year. As we continue to utilize the platform in the school years ahead, additional features noted above may be utilized. 

    ParentSquare, Skyward/Family Access and Canvas
    Skyward/Family Access and Canvas will continue as the primary tools for information about classroom instruction such as grades, assignments, and instructional resources. Beginning in 2024-2025, ParentSquare will now be the direct way we communicate non-instructional information from the classroom, school, and district.

    How does ParentSquare work?
    ParentSquare automatically generates an account for each parent/guardian, using the primary email address and phone number you gave your school office (also the email used by Skyward/Family Access). If you do not remember the email address, don't hesitate to contact your school office, and they can provide it. We encourage parents/guardians to access their accounts to download the mobile app and update their preferences for when and how they want to be notified.

    How is my communication managed?
    You can receive communication from the district, school, and classroom by email, text, mobile app, or the ParentSquare website. To reduce and streamline the amount of messaging you get each day, we have set the ParentSquare default to the digest option, which will collect all of your student's communication from the district, school, and classroom into one message a day. We have also turned on text as a feature for all parents/guardians. You can change your notification preferences, including your preferred language of communication, on your ParentSquare account page.

    District and school newsletters
    Beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, all district families and staff from a particular school will automatically receive school and district newsletters through ParentSquare. Through the “Participate” button on the ParentSquare dashboard, you can click to join a school “Community Group” to receive the newsletters from any other school you are not a parent/guardian or staff member at. If you have no students enrolled in a Snohomish School District School or you do not work for the Snohomish School District, you can enroll in a "Community Group" by clicking here

    Important links and resources