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Transforming school-to-home communication

Hamilton Girls’ High School share how they raised their game using data-synchronisation between KAMAR and School-links

Long-time users of School-links Early Notification system, Hamilton Girls’ High School (HGHS) recently shifted to using School-links messaging functionality. Taking advantage of the seamless daily data synchronisation between KAMAR and School-links, HGHS now use School-links for all mass communication to parents and students. Craig Scrimgeour, Deputy Principal, shares his experiences.

The impetus

Many students at HGHS have siblings at other schools and feedback from parents and caregivers was that it was difficult to discern HGHS emails from other school communications. On the administrative side of things, the school also found that it was taking a long time to send out bulk emails.

A long-time user of the School-links Early Notification (EN) System, the school investigated the School-links messaging functionality. Craig recalls, “I was aware that the platform worked with KAMAR and was pleased to discover that School-links could easily set up a template to brand all our communications. They could kill two birds with one stone – make our communications less bland and speed up the mailing out.”

The process

Craig worked with the help desk to come up with a couple of designs that incorporated the school logo and colours, “Our graphic designer sent through some files and the team at School-links converted the file types and handled the design side of things. The result was an email template that could quickly and easily be identified as coming from Hamilton Girls.” School-links and KAMAR data synchronisation meant that the school could send mass communications out to all students, all parents, parents and students, and to year groups, “And now that School-links synchs with other groups set up in KAMAR such as sports groups, we will be using that functionality too.”

The benefits

The school has found that since implementing School-links messaging, communication is less time-consuming and as a result they communicate more frequently. The school has also had positive feedback from the school community, “Parents commented on how professional our emails looked and how easy they were to identify.”

There were other benefits that the school had not expected, “The emails look so good and go out so quickly that we now use the system to send out our newsletters simply by including a link. And I have also found the delivery reports useful too.” Craig expands, “Sometimes when parents or students question whether they have received an email, I can investigate and see that it was sent, or if there is an issue we can update their details or correct a typo. It has been a driver for parents to contact the school to ensure that their contact details remain up to date.”

Next steps

Craig feels as if the school is only just beginning their journey with School-links, “We can’t imagine managing attendance without the School-links EN system. With seventeen hundred students, it saves us hours every day. The messaging functionality has fast become an essential too, and we are  currently investigating other features such as teacher interviews, and fine tuning our lockdown procedures.”

Craig concludes, “School-links customer service is absolutely fantastic. I can ask them anything. No question is too silly, and they bend over backwards to help you. I highly recommend them.”