King-Murphy Climbs New Heights...By Reading!

  • By Zuben Bastani
  • 01 Nov, 2017

When King-Murphy sat down to consider their fall fundraiser, they had two main objectives:

  1. Motivate their community to contribute to a new STEM lab
  2. Encourage their students to develop great and sustainable academic habits

After considering their options, which included a running race, they decided to hold a “Read-a-Thon”. “Our kids are mountain kids,” said KM PTA Co-President, Lisa Dulski. “They’re outside all the time, so we thought it was more important to encourage kids in an educational way.” A Read-a-Thon presents a perfect platform to encourage the practice of reading for fun.  It allows students to extend their learning beyond the classroom and set the stage for students to (hopefully!) grow into lifelong readers.

The King-Murphy PTA collaborated with the Flyer team to build out their fundraiser entirely from scratch (these are incredibly dedicated and brave PTA members we’re talking about here!) using their King-Murphy app to host informational content, access reading logs, collect donations, and track progress, all in one place! “The app has been essential for us because it gave us the ability to communicate constantly with our families,” said Lisa. “The app as a whole has allowed us to get more families on board and streamline the collection process.”

In addition to the prizes offered to individual winners of the Read-a-Thon, KM worked hard to emphasize the the communal nature of the event, encouraging teachers to foster camaraderie and team spirit by creating their own classroom-level incentives tailored to their specific group of students (because nothing motivates young learners like the potential of a Pajama Party, am I right?!). The Read-a-Thon also allowed KM an opportunity to reach beyond the school community to engage friends, extended family, and neighbors. The inclusivity of the Read-a-Thon was also a huge benefit, allowing families and students to participate fully whether or not they were able to financially contribute, and since the students were reading at home, it offered parents the opportunity to reinforce those habits and engage with their children.  

We’re incredibly impressed by the effort that King-Murphy put into creating a thorough, robust, and adaptable fundraising toolkit and love that reading was at the heart and soul of their event. Check out their app to see all of their resources, and congratulations to everyone who contributed to the Read-a-Thon!


By Zuben Bastani 21 Nov, 2017

Press Release for CID's Social Venture Marketplace: 

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Flyer School App Named as CO Impact Days and  Initiative Social Venture Finalist

Flyer’s Equity and Inclusion Platform to be a Featured Speaker at the Second Annual Marketplace for Impact Investing

DENVER, November 10, 2017 –  CO Impact Days and Initiative  announced the top 100 social ventures that have been invited to meet face to face with investors in order to seek millions of dollars of “impact investments” at CO Impact Days Social Venture Showcase on November 17, 2017. Flyer School App was chosen as one out of 150 applicants in a competitive process with over 138 judges from around the United States, and will be showcasing in the Education/Early Childhood Track at the event as the keynote speaker in that track!

The 100 ventures will convene on November 17 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex for the second year of this innovative, exciting, “shark-tank for good” statewide marketplace for impact investing.  The chosen social ventures will have the opportunity to showcase their investment opportunities to offer not only a financial return on the impact investor's investment, but also to offer solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time.

“We are so thrilled to again invite over 200 investors and philanthropists to interact with these valuable social ventures. When these two groups of powerful move-makers share a room, there is no telling the good that will come. We’ve aimed to offer a diverse array of impact investments, with a goal that every investor attendee will leave knowing that deal flow is not a Colorado impact investing problem,” said Dr. Stephanie Gripne, Founder of the Impact Finance Center and creator of CO Impact Days and Initiative. “We’re excited to continue this effort and see even more fruitful collisions at this year’s marketplace.”

The goal of CO Impact Initiative is to catalyze $100 million in impact investments into Colorado social ventures in the next three years, and it is kicking off with CO Impact Days on November 15-17. CO Impact Days encourages a new breed of impact investors and community members to Learn. Connect. Invest.

“To be selected as a featured speaker in this field of incredible social ventures is truly an honor,” said Flyer CEO and Founder, Zuben Bastani. “We’ve worked hard over the past two and a half years to build a dynamic platform that brings equity and delivers social resources to schools and districts. To be able to present our brand new Flyer 2.0 solution at CID’s Social Venture Marketplace is an invaluable opportunity, and one for which we’re very grateful.”

CO Impact Days’ innovation is uniquely possible because Colorado is home to a number of national leaders in impact investing and a thriving and collaborative community of social venture entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, plus philanthropists and investors who are committed to growing Colorado’s economy and creating good jobs while ensuring our state remains one of the best places to work, live and play in the U.S.  

# # #

About CO Impact Days and Initiative

CO Impact Days is in the second year of its trail-blazing effort to create a statewide marketplace for impact investing; identifying, connecting, and celebrating Colorado's top social ventures and impact investors from the Western Slope to the Front Range. CO Impact Days’ brings together Colorado’s top 100 social ventures, 200 impact investors, and 500+ community members to Learn. Connect. Invest.  For more information or tickets, visit  www.coimpactdays.org  or contact Kristin Giant at  kgiant@coimpactdays.org

.


CO Impact Initiative, created by the Impact Finance Center and led by Dr. Stephanie Gripne is a 3-year strategy to elevate and accelerate impact investing in Colorado, catalyzing the flow of $100 million in investment capital into Colorado social ventures that deliver positive impact on the state’s communities, economy and natural environment.

About Flyer

At Flyer, our mission is to increase student achievement among low-income and ELL families through better family engagement.  Our vision is for all families, regardless of social or economic barriers, to be informed, participating, and connected with their schools and social resources. For schools and teachers, we envision a single unified platform to drive their communications, manage their logistics, and deliver resources that create a positive social impact. For more information, visit  flyerschoolapp.com  or contact  zuben@flyerschoolapp.com

   


By Zuben Bastani 01 Nov, 2017

When King-Murphy sat down to consider their fall fundraiser, they had two main objectives:

  1. Motivate their community to contribute to a new STEM lab
  2. Encourage their students to develop great and sustainable academic habits

After considering their options, which included a running race, they decided to hold a “Read-a-Thon”. “Our kids are mountain kids,” said KM PTA Co-President, Lisa Dulski. “They’re outside all the time, so we thought it was more important to encourage kids in an educational way.” A Read-a-Thon presents a perfect platform to encourage the practice of reading for fun.  It allows students to extend their learning beyond the classroom and set the stage for students to (hopefully!) grow into lifelong readers.

The King-Murphy PTA collaborated with the Flyer team to build out their fundraiser entirely from scratch (these are incredibly dedicated and brave PTA members we’re talking about here!) using their King-Murphy app to host informational content, access reading logs, collect donations, and track progress, all in one place! “The app has been essential for us because it gave us the ability to communicate constantly with our families,” said Lisa. “The app as a whole has allowed us to get more families on board and streamline the collection process.”

In addition to the prizes offered to individual winners of the Read-a-Thon, KM worked hard to emphasize the the communal nature of the event, encouraging teachers to foster camaraderie and team spirit by creating their own classroom-level incentives tailored to their specific group of students (because nothing motivates young learners like the potential of a Pajama Party, am I right?!). The Read-a-Thon also allowed KM an opportunity to reach beyond the school community to engage friends, extended family, and neighbors. The inclusivity of the Read-a-Thon was also a huge benefit, allowing families and students to participate fully whether or not they were able to financially contribute, and since the students were reading at home, it offered parents the opportunity to reinforce those habits and engage with their children.  

We’re incredibly impressed by the effort that King-Murphy put into creating a thorough, robust, and adaptable fundraising toolkit and love that reading was at the heart and soul of their event. Check out their app to see all of their resources, and congratulations to everyone who contributed to the Read-a-Thon!


By Laura Johnson 18 Sep, 2017

This summer, Denver students created anti-bullying solutions during the 3rd annual Think Like a Genius Foundation Challenge. The challenge is over, but the solutions live on as the students implement them in their schools and community.

Think Like a Genius Foundation asks “young people to nd ways to solve community issues that affect children and youth.” The focus this year was bullying.

The challenge was created to help students learn about themselves and how to set goals. The foundation partners with other organizations which support youth struggling with the impact of pressures all around them—broken families, gangs, and violence. The foundation helps provide a supportive environment to students.

“Youth groups throughout the community are tasked with creating a model that solves a prob- lem, taking and integrating it into the community, and making it happen.” said Eric Siler, Think Like a Genius Foundation executive director. “All the youth teams come up with a solution that they have to implement and demonstrate sustainability. Just by coming to the challenge they use 21st century skills—critical thinking, collaboration, innovation, creativity and communication.”

The kids obtain help from mentors, but it’s minimal. Art Curtis, history teacher at KIPP Denver Collegiate, mentored a team from his school. “I was impressed with what a great plan the student team came up with, without much teacher coordinator input. The solution was 98% them.”

The KIPP Denver Collegiate team thought of creating an app that gave students an outlet to report bullying and an opportunity to talk to counselors or peers. The anti-bullying solution made a perfect t with the school’s existing Fly- er School App, which connects all fami- lies with relevant school information and resources.

“I felt kind of scared, we didn’t know how to develop the app and had a lot of questions,” said Arely, a student team member. She felt one of the biggest lessons she learned from the process was to reach out to adults and set up meetings. They sent Zuben Bastani, Flyer CEO, an email.

“I was thrilled to hear from the students,” said Zuben. I’m always looking for feedback to make the app more useful. The opportunity to work with these motivated, innovative students has been inspiring.”

The students chose the Flyer app as the means of communication since their community had al- ready embraced it. Families, teachers, administrators, and students use the app more often than other means such as social media, email, and phone for school communications.

“The challenge was a great way to spend my summer,” says Arely. “It helped me learn a lot of collaborative skills, I had to step up and work with a team. It was really fun.” She also learned from other teams who had an earlier start and were able to conduct more testing and get feed- back on their project.

In the next two weeks, the team will present the anti-bullying solution to the school at a town hall. Students will have access to the anti-bullying resources on their phone, complemented with options for in-person counselor sessions and peer group meetings. To make the solution sustainable, they plan to measure it’s success, learn as the school year progresses, and continue with ideas to improve it as they go. While the students look to create a sustainable anti-bullying solution, they’ll continue learning about themselves and how capable they really are.

About Flyer School Apps

Flyer is a team of parents, school leaders and young professionals on a social mission to increase student achievement through family engagement.

Flyer was created by the parent of elementary aged kids. Frustrated by the fragmented means of communica- tion by schools including yer-stu ed-backpacks, missed emails, auto-dialers, teachers’ notes, and inaccurate recounts by kindergartners, Zuben Bastani’s goal was to create a mobile app that is a one-stop-shop for school information and communication for every type of family regardless of their income or language.

Flyer has grown to serve traditional, charter and private PK-12 schools in both rural and urban areas across the US.

Flyer is a proud graduate of Unreasonable Institute 2016 Early Childhood Accelerator.

yerschoolapp.com info@ yerschoolapp.com (720) 336-9663

By Laura Johnson 06 Jul, 2017

Registration season is upon us, and over the last few years we’ve seen little progress in how most schools approach registration. Even more challenged are those schools serving high risk or low income students because of families’ inability to be present and because of multiple languages. We wanted to share how some of our schools are improving the experience for their families, reducing time for their staff, and increasing enrollment results.

Registration Tips

#1 - Promote events online through the web, emails, school mobile app, social media, and local news to attract families to visit your school and see if it’s a good fit for them. The more communication channels, the more likely you’ll reach your target. Everyone has a preferred method of receiving notifications and news, and it may not be the traditional ones like the postal mail. Many families don’t have Internet access at home, and rely on their smartphones to stay in touch.

#2 - Keep families in the loop with upcoming deadlines and open houses. With those messages, introduce staff and teachers that families will meet during open houses.

#3 - Provide videos online for those who can’t attend the open house.

#4 - Streamline the registration process, allowing families to register from home. This method is especially helpful with high risk students. If there’s a fee with registration, simplify school payments using the web site or school app.

#5 - Send notifications to families about what to expect on the first day, where to go, what to bring, and to which teacher(s) their student has been assigned. The more families know, the more comfortable they’ll feel.

#6 - Follow up with partial registrations or students who enrolled last year but haven’t registered yet and move them along to the next step.

These steps help ensure that all families receive the information needed to successfully register their student.

By Laura Johnson 12 Jun, 2017

Summer learning loss is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and one of the strongest contributors to the high school dropout rate, according to the National Summer Learning Association. Flyer's focus on access and equity led them to help Gust Elementary in Denver curb summer reading loss.  Gust families can use their app to access dozens of Unite eBooks wherever they are. "I can send reminders to families and see they're accessing the eBooks," says Katie Harlfinger, Teacher Librarian/School Tech Rep. "All of our app push notifications are sent out in English and Spanish to help our English Language Learners." Families access the eBooks through the school app while they’re in waiting rooms, stuck in traffic, or wrapping up the end of the day at work. What’s more important is the books can read themselves to the family in several languages. Students can see the words in English, for example, and hear them in Spanish.  

By Laura Johnson 05 Jun, 2017

Centennial Academy of Fine Artsof Littleton Public Schools communicates directly with families to increase and organize volunteers using Flyer. Parents receive volunteer requests, respond to them, and log their volunteer hours, all on their phones.

“I have used the Flyer School App in two different schools and it has made a great impact on our ability to communicate better with all families,” says Karla Gruenwald, Principal. “Our parent community has provided positive feedback on the app and loves getting real time communication via the app and push notifications.”

By Laura Johnson 24 May, 2017

When Sandoval Elementary strove to improve office efficiency and communication to parents, they turned to Flyer app push notifications.

Sandoval, a Denver Public School, posts messages regarding events, closures, and lockdowns to parents’ phones. Parents also quickly access the calendar and connect with teachers.

Attendance reporting has greatly improved at Sandoval. Before Flyer, parents called attendance voicemail. “We had trouble understanding a lot of the messages,” said Maria Alvarez, Sandoval Main Office Secretary. Now 75% parents send an email from their phone to attendance, improving accuracy and efficiency.

Lockdown communications also improved. Alvarez used to scramble to print post-lockdown notices and set up a robocall. If the robocall reached a parent’s voicemail it would only leave a partial message and parents called the office back for clarification. Now it’s an automated push notification. In one instance the lockdown occurred at the end of the day. Parents received the notification and stayed in their cars until the lockdown ended.

Whether it’s a daily update or a school emergency, Sandoval has improved communications with the Flyer app. “Parents love it,” said Alvarez, “because they have the information at their fingertips.”

By Zuben Bastani 24 Oct, 2016
October is arguably one of the most important months this school year. The Colorado Department of Education designates an October date for each district the Official Pupil Count Date for 2016.                  

Several Flyer schools used their school apps to send push notifications to parents. Several schools used their app banners to promote their count day.  Flyer schools who did use their apps reached their goals and some even qualified for additional funding!

Have a goal to meet this fall? Just send us a note or give us a call .
By Zuben Bastani 14 Sep, 2016
Like many working mothers, Liz Wolfson is typically in a hurry, rushing to get her children ready for school and then heading off to work. The beginning of the school year is especially hectic.  “I’m the busy mom who doesn’t complete her forms until the last minute,” she said.

One morning in August, she was dropping off her two children at the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School when she was reminded she hadn’t yet turned in registration forms.

“They handed me an iPad that had the school app downloaded on it,” she said. “I completed forms for two children and was on my way to work within 15 minutes.”
Wolfson downloaded the school’s app onto her phone. She simply tapped a few buttons on her phone and the app appeared.
“I was impressed that there were no lengthy logins or other prerequisites to use the app,” Wolfson said. She so impressed, in fact, that she plans to launch a mobile app at the Girls Athletic Leadership School in Denver, where she is the director.
Ashley Ennis, who works in the front office at the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, said the mobile app has been hugely popular with families, citing ease and convenience as its best attributes. Parents receive text reminders, check lunch menus and access forms.

“It’s easy. It cuts down on time and paperwork. We love it,” Ennis said.
By Zuben Bastani 01 Jul, 2016
Throughout the country, school staff members are realizing how effective QR codes can be to reach out to parents and school communities. “It’s important to take advantage of any opportunity to connect with the family. Parent engagement is an important part of ensuring the success of students,” said Monica Burns, ClassTechTips.com  blogger, and Curriculum and EdTech Consultant.
QR codes are one of the many features of our school apps. They are simple to implement and offer great information to schools. We have schools in Denver using them to gauge attendance at parent meetings and to award prizes for attendance.
“One of the reasons I’m so passionate about the integration of scannable technology is the opportunities it affords all stakeholders in the community,” Burns said. Read more from Burns.
Let’s talk about how to use a QR code at your school. Just send us a note or give us a call .
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