Part 2 in Hailee’s story about implementing Storypark
Whilst Hailee did introduce Storypark quickly, it was not without thought into the processes that would make it work for her centre. All stories are approved by Hailee and she keeps a particular eye on photos and videos to ensure that there is nothing inappropriate being posted.
“The teacher who took the picture can be so focused on the amazing learning event at the forefront of the image that they don’t even see that a little girl in the background has had an accident. Staff like the comfort of knowing that whatever they post has been checked by someone else too.”
Hailee always makes sure that she watches videos all the way through too for the same reason. Whilst this has created extra work for Hailee, it has been extremely rewarding.
I know so much more about the children and their families. I can talk to every child or parent in the centre about specifics rather than generalities. I see and share in all these special moments that the teachers write about and that the families upload.
To support the immediacy that brings so many benefits to parents and teachers, Hailee has made herself very available. Teachers can just pop their heads into her office to ask if she can approve and check a post on the spot. When offsite Hailee has asked them to send her a text and she quickly sends stories out using her iPad.
It really isn’t a drama and many of my staff are so enthused that they are writing up learning events from home. We are all just excited!
When Storypark was introduced she did offer a paper-based alternative to parents and this was taken up by one grandparent who is a child’s guardian and does not have internet access. One mother expressed concern about security and Hailee gave her Storypark’s number to call for peace of mind. Within two months this mum was posting all the family news online.
“All the other families have just jumped on board, no instruction or persuasion required but it was important to have the alternatives available.”
The switch was all-encompassing so newsletters, announcements and night before reminders are all sent out via Storypark.
Staff use their profiles to collate information to complete their teacher registration and the Centre is currently discussing how to meet their obligations to the Education Review Office (the New Zealand education inspectorate) using Storypark.
For Hailee’s staff though, whilst the procedural efficiencies are fantastic, it is the ability to truly connect home, family and the child’s education that has turned the sceptics into the smitten. Hailee describes one amazing story that her staff posted.
One of our mothers has a terrible fear of water and it was a huge thing for her to let us take her child swimming. We used Storypark to let the mother watch her child having swimming lessons via video. This meant mum could share in a wonderful moment of discovery for her child. And that memory is preserved for the mother, child and extended family.
Waiuku’s Lessons Learnt
Hailee and her staff are happy to share the lessons that they have learnt along the way:
- Make sure you have stories loaded before presenting it to parents and if they are unsure let them look at those stories through a teacher’s log in.
- Offer help with signing up for families who don’t have English as their first language.
- Perhaps most importantly, don’t worry about who is going to drive it. Learn together as a team and Storypark drives itself.