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  • Text messaging strategies to improve student attendance

    Outreach to families about their students’ attendance is vital to solving the problem of chronic absenteeism. However, many school districts are wondering about new ways to implement this outreach so that it is most effective, efficient, and low cost. Schools often utilize traditional methods such as letters and phone calls alerting families about absences, while some distribute emails. These methods of communication have not updated with our new age of technology and shift to mobile phone use. Furthermore, these avenues of communication have frequent roadblocks, as home addresses change, phone calls go straight to voicemail, and even emails are often ignored or go straight to spam. These outreach efforts are also time-consuming on the part of student support staff, as many administrators have to individually call, email, or send letters to a large number of families every day in order to stay on track with attendance interventions. The task is often too time-intensive for these staff members, leaving them with little time to focus on other work. On the other hand, families want to receive up-to-date reminders and notifications about their students’ attendance, but these messages from their schools all too commonly get lost and are not sent in the most readily accessible manner. A study by Dr. Peter Bergman from Columbia Teachers College revealed that 50% of families reported hearing from their school district about their student less than once every three months. This is significant because families can be instrumental in helping their students get back on track and in class. New technologies have revolutionized the ways in which schools can provide communications to their families and students. Text messages are one new format of communication that has proven to be effective, as our world is more mobile-centric than ever before. Many are favoring texts because the open rates for text messages are much higher than that of email or traditional mail. Sending out reminders and notifications about absences over text messages is one way to ensure that families receive the updates they need in a digestible and timely manner. With these ideas in mind, school districts are now utilizing text messaging technology to provide assistance to families. Some implement strategies where student support staff send out individualized messages themselves or others use automated messaging that sends out blast messages to family cell phones about school-wide information and notifications. While text messages provide a more accessible route to school information for families, non-automated text messaging can require more work on the part of school staff. On the other hand, automated messaging systems can also feel impersonal and generalized. The goal is to create messaging campaigns that save staff time while also delivering customized and individualized support for each family and student. However, there is new technology that automates messaging for schools while also providing the level of personalization that families appreciate. Artificially intelligent chatbots can send out personalized messages to families about their students’ attendance while requiring no additional effort on the part of support staff. Using AI, the bot can also respond to questions as they come in, leveraging two-way text messaging communication to elevate support and assistance for families as needed. Not only does the bot send out nudges about student absences, it can also direct families to district resources to help families and students in the areas where they need support. These resources are already provided by their school or district, but sending out information over text allows for an easier and more accessible route to assistance. Instead of having to email a teacher or call the main office, families can simply text the chatbot with a question and receive an automatic and helpful response. Customized knowledge bases arm the chatbot with information so that it can respond to questions as they come in, providing families with support over text messages and enabling staff members to spend their time on areas other than answering routine questions over email. Families are encouraged to reach out to the chatbot over text messages to ask for help with tasks such as resetting passwords or finding school schedules, questions that are commonly handled by overworked staff. Especially now with the challenges of remote or hybrid learning, providing an additional source of assistance can streamline the communications process and offload some of the burdens of support staff. The chatbot can send out messages updating families about where to access district learning information and return to school schedules. Leveraging AI Chatbot technology can increase communications outreach with families, ensuring that they get the help that they need, while at the same time reducing staff workloads. Artificial intelligence enables the bot to point families to the resources they need to support their students, but it also allows for more joy and human-like empathy to come across over its outreach. Making sure that each text message is regarded as an offering of support and guidance instead of a punitive notification can make families feel supported by the chatbot and the school district. This positivity and compassion increases the likelihood that messages are read and responded to, instead of ignored or marked as spam. Best practices and research also point to the importance of not messaging families too often and keeping every message timely and actionable. This reduces the number of opt outs or messages ignored and builds the reputation that each message from the chatbot is important and helpful. Specializing each message and making them personal to each student and family also prompts families to engage with the message instead of ignoring it. With chronic absenteeism rates on the rise throughout the country, utilizing new methods of communication that can automate messaging has the potential to improve attendance rates and help overworked staff. Implementing these methods of outreach and text messaging with families can help schools and districts improve communications and reduce chronic absenteeism at scale. AllHere’s AI Chatbot utilizes these best practices to increase correspondences between schools and families, reduce staff time, and improve attendance rates amongst students.

  • Reducing staff burden using AI Chatbot

    Did you know that you can reduce school staff burden by using an AI chatbot? Throughout every school district, there are front office administrators, school resource officers, guidance counselors, or teachers acting as the glue that makes the whole school work – fielding questions from parents, handling the logistics of the school day, and connecting students with resources or information so they can get through the year. Students and families vastly outnumber the number of school staff acting as resources and as any educator knows, the number of questions that the student body generates on a daily basis has no upper limit. With a shift from phone calls to emails, the volume of questions and time each response requires has gone up. The same shift in communicating with school via phone versus over email is similar to how people have shifted to texting as their primary mode of communication. The thought of providing a number that parents and students can text might seem like an invitation for chaos given the hundreds of text messages most people send in a given day. It would likely be a full-time position for multiple people to handle such an undertaking. The good news is that new artificial intelligence technology can turn texting chaos into a streamlined communication system for school administrations. By introducing basic automation with advanced conversational modeling, school systems can use an AI Chatbot to both automatically send messages regarding student participation (attendance) and respond to an unlimited number of student and parent questions, regarding an unlimited number of topics. There is a huge variety in the type of questions students and parents contact school staff regarding. Sometimes it is a simple question like “what time is school dismissal,” but other times questions will be more complex, for example “how does my son/daughter obtain a school-issued laptop.” While the first example would be a quick response of “3:15 pm” over the phone, it requires a staff member to answer the phone, provide an introduction, and field the question. The second example would be more time consuming and complicated. In most cases, an email will be more convenient for parents, but even more, time-consuming for staff members and a bit more of a wait between asking and receiving a response. For complex questions that take a few minutes to answer, the phone is lighting up with more questions to be answered as soon as the call ends. In both cases, an AI Chatbot would be more efficient. Frequently asked questions can be pre-populated into the system, while more complex questions are handled by the system’s learning capabilities. In the laptop example, an AI chatbot would take the term laptop and recognize that this was a technology question. From there it would begin providing information from what the system knows about technology resources – information like the webpage for registering for a school-issued device, where devices would be picked up, and more. As the chatbot provides information back to the “asker” it will prompt additional questions to ensure that the person is receiving the correct information. Typically, the chatbot is able to handle the entire interaction. In the event that the asker’s question has not been answered, the chatbot will then provide that information back to a school staff member and connect the two parties. The other way an AI Chatbot can help reduce the burden on school staff members is by following up with students and parents regarding school attendance. In most districts, considerable resources are put towards attendance related follow-up. Staff members are required to email and call families to communicate attendance expectations and any missed school days. An AI Chatbot allows districts to reach out regarding attendance via automated texts – ensuring that people are seeing important information and reducing the resources required to conduct such outreach. Chronic absenteeism is a growing concern for every educator. An AI chatbot can reduce absenteeism by establishing awareness and engaging students and families on their terms. Schools rely on school staff members as brand ambassadors, however, in many cases, this reliance becomes a burden to staff members and pulls them away from more impactful activities. An AI Chatbot allows schools to handle an unlimited number of questions, 24 hours a day, without requiring any resources beyond setting the system up and routine maintenance.  Schools have an opportunity to reduce staff burden while updating their communication processes to meet the changing preferences of students and parents. If your district is interested in employing an AI chatbot to streamline communication, AllHere can help. AllHere AI Chatbot provides two-way text-based communication to schools, students, and families. Not only does the Chatbot reduce the reliance on staff members as resources, but it also improves overall attendance rates – a win-win for any district.

  • School attendance data highlights need for better intervention tools

    School attendance is a leading indicator for major outcomes in life. Chicago Public Schools determined that children who are chronically absent during the years between Pre-K and First Grade are less likely to read at grade level in Third Grade, likely as a result of early work developing letter recognition and pre-literacy skills. As early as 2012, the Annie E. Casey Foundation published findings that by the end of Third Grade, students who are not reading at grade level drop out of high school four times more than their peers who were reading at grade level. The outcomes of chronic absence continue to escalate each year beginning with early childhood. By middle school, 14% of students are chronically absent. The rate of chronic absence grows to 20% for high-school-aged students. A study of public school students in Utah found that any student chronically absent during high school was seven times more likely to drop out – even if it was just during a single school year. Sociology textbooks have been written about the impact that dropping out of school has on young people. Focussing on the “results” side of chronic absenteeism takes us only so far without understanding the drivers that keep students from attending school. School Districts hire attendance officers to try and manage some aspects of chronic absenteeism, like truancy, but in many ways this is also a reaction to, or result of, the problem. Face-to-face interventions with students are critical but accountability at home is what makes those interventions have an impact. Todd Rogers of Harvard Kennedy school found that parents of students who are chronically absent underestimate the number of days that their child has missed school by a factor of two – meaning they’re under the impression that half as many days were missed than were missed in actuality. To make matters worse, of those parents, only 28% recognize that their student missed more school days than their peers. Part of any intervention strategy is parental awareness. The challenge here is reaching parents in a way that will actually reach them. Chronic absence is a growing problem. Face-to-face interventions and parent-teacher conferences are not possible in many situations. Regardless of what is happening in the world, students cannot fall behind, just as business must go on. Like the corporate world shifting to virtual strategies, the world of education must focus on adapting. The reality of school attendance data highlights the need for better intervention tools. We must use every tool we have available to ensure that students make it to school each day. Text-messaging parents when their student does not show up for school is the first step we can take to reduce absence. This begins the process of addressing attendance in actuality – with real information about their student. Interventions do not matter if there is no accountability. Accountability can only be a factor once awareness has been established.

  • Communicate student attendance policies via text message

    Communicating student attendance policies via text message is an important step in reducing chronic absence. Attending school is one of the most important aspects of a young person’s life, but if getting students to class was simple we wouldn’t have the growing national problem of chronic absence. The routine of daily in-person class all but disappeared in 2019 for many districts – making the act of getting students to school an even more complex scenario. Students must manage hybrid schedules, learning portals, and virtual instruction, provided they have the space, discipline, and resources to do so. This leaves students, school districts, and parents in a precarious balance. Keeping parents and guardians engaged and informed is what makes that balance cohesive. Emails go “unread,” and calls can be missed, but one way of reaching out to families ensures that parents will be informed – text messaging. Text messages are a nearly universal way of communicating now. Doctors send appointment reminders, stores send order information, shippers update us where our packages are. So why aren’t schools leveraging the technology to make a huge difference in their attendance numbers? Last year, IES published Can Texting Parents Improve Attendance in Elementary School? (NCEE 2020-006, U.S. D.O.E.) to determine if using text messages made a difference in reducing chronic absence. It absolutely made a difference. Most parents aren’t “keeping score” of attendance, so reminders of their student’s missed days help them address any problems and keeps the importance of attendance top-of-mind. Texting can open the door to wider communication when two-way texting is enabled. Using an automated chatbot informed by AI requires less input from school officials and allows parents to get answers to frequently asked questions. By reaching students and families using methods that ensure awareness leads to engagement, and ensures that students are attending school as often as possible. Having attendance officers texting students and families is labor intensive. If your district does go the one-to-one texting route you will see attendance benefits but it will be at a cost – time and resources will need to be allocated every single day. This is where AllHere comes in. AllHere chatbot provides school districts with the ability to text students and families. It not only automates the outreach process, it can help students and families engage even further by soliciting responses and processing what is being communicated using Artificial Intelligence (“AI”). Text messaging using an automated chatbot informed by AI requires less input from school officials and allows parents to get answers to frequently asked questions. Districts can set up scripts for attendance, school events, or missed days. They can also use the system to understand what is keeping students from attending school. As an example, the chatbot texts a guardian that their student missed school. Once that text message is read, a follow-up message can be sent, “Is there anything we can do to help your student make it to school tomorrow?” The parent can respond that they do not have a computer at home. In this scenario, AllHere chatbot understands that there is a tech resource issue and can begin texting information about obtaining a school-issued laptop. The act of text messaging attendance information and communicating what attendance requirements look like benefits all students. Texting can open the door to wider communication when two-way texting is enabled. We have the opportunity to ensure that attendance is never not addressed because of a missed call or unread email. The IES has proven that texting works. AllHere Chatbot can help your district simplify the process.

  • 5 Ways to Address Chronic Absenteeism with AllHere

    8 million students. That’s the number of students who miss 10% or more days from school, defined as missing 10 percent or more of the year, according to the USDOE.  The numbers have been alarming, so it is even more concerning that they represent the pre-COVID years.  COVID will likely dramatically increase the number of students already struggling with participation and attendance.  The implications are profound but there are proven ways to alleviate this rapidly growing problem. Chronic absenteeism is linked to lower third grade reading proficiency, lower math and reading percentiles by middle school, and a 7x higher dropout rate in high school. There are also racial and ethnic disparities with regard to rates of chronic absenteeism. Compared to their white peers, Black students are 40 percent more likely to lose 10% of school or more, Hispanic students are 17 percent more likely, and American Indian and Pacific Islander students are over 50 percent more likely to lose three weeks of school or more. Approximately 800 school districts reported that more than 30 percent of their students were chronically absent in 2015-2016. There are many reasons that children are chronically absent – those factors include barriers (e.g., illness, lack of health, mental health, vision, or dental care), negative school experiences (bullying, suspensions and expulsions, struggling academically or socially), lack of engagement (lack of culturally relevant, engaging instruction, unwelcoming school climate), and misconceptions (e.g, absences are only a problem if they are unexcused; missing 2 days per month doesn’t affect learning). There are, also, many strategies for getting students to attend school regularly. But without data to understand why students are absent and the ability to engage and empower all of your families and students with accessible technology, supportive resources, and actionable information on a 24/7 basis, schools and districts cannot employ these strategies effectively. It can also be difficult to ascertain the reasons why students are chronically absent at the individual student, school, and district levels and connect the right student with just-in-time support at the right time. 5 Ways to Use AllHere to Address Chronic Absenteeism AllHere provides educators with a comprehensive way to foster student attendance with mobile messaging powered by AI. We develop chatbots that support families and students on the path to and through school. With interactive nudges and simultaneous proactive and reactive support that refresh attendance data daily, AllHere helps educators, teachers, interventionists, counselors, and administrators stay one step ahead and support students at scale with AI-powered assistance at their fingertips 24/7. Here’s how AllHere can help your school or district improve attendance. Quickly monitor student-level attendance trends. Counselors, teachers, social workers, administrators, and educators can easily log-in and view student-level trends for the percentage of students that are “on track” and “at risk” of attendance issues. By refreshing attendance data on a daily basis, AllHere provides a near real-time view into a student’s attendance patterns. Educators can drill down to see which individual students are facing issues with attendance. Help parents understand the importance of attendance. Get ahead of misunderstandings by proactively communicating why student attendance matters, and leverage our evidence-based text content and sequences to spark attendance for every child, everywhere. Break down the complexity of good attendance into small steps that are easy to achieve. Parents often are not clear on what constitutes meeting attendance requirements, especially if attendance is taken asynchronously or as a function of assignment completion or logins—but even a missed login and a missed assignment can turn into chronic absence over the course of a year. Break down the complexity of great attendance by proactively giving families tips and reminders that are: easy to do, accessible to everyone, developmentally aligned to their child or children, and give families an “I can do this!” feeling. Send families and students just-in-time tips on how to promote their attendance and engagement by creating strong student routines – like signing in at a certain time each day, submitting required coursework, or checking in with a teacher or a counselor so that they are counted as “here.” Provide helpful and personalized information, encouragement, and support to parents and students over a prolonged period of time. Parents often underestimate student absences, especially if they happen sporadically—but even two absences a month can turn into chronic absence over the course of a year. Keep parents up to date by sharing the total number of absences, whether as part of daily attendance notifications, separately, or both. And to help put this number in context, consider comparing their children’s attendance with other students in their grade, school, or district. Leverage conversational AI to save staff time and to reach and listen to as many parents and students as possible. Send campaigns to students to nudge them to success, find the right resources and information exactly when they need it – even at 1 am—and strengthen your student-staff relationships with more time to foucs on meaningful interactions using conversational AI. when they meet it, send interactive surveys and get a wider picture on the “why” behind absences. Conversational AI answers 85% of incoming messages in 2 seconds or less, and helps to guide students and families at each stage of their learning journey. Interested in seeing AllHere’s AI-powered text messaging intervention in action? Get in touch with our team to schedule a demo. #allhere #chronicabsence #texting

  • New Federally Funded Research Shows That Text Messaging Drives Attendance Up

    Chronic absence – defined as missing 10 percent or more of school days – is a nationwide problem. Those with poor attendance are more likely to face challenges later in school and in life. Text messaging as a way to improve student attendance has the strongest evidence base in the field. In a series of randomized controlled trials, the adaptive text messaging approach has been shown to increase student attendance and increase child learning by 2 to 3 months over the course of a school year (Bergman & Chan, 2019; IES, 2020). Our product extensions also draw on research from the broader field of text message-based engagement. We have been particularly inspired by these September 2020 findings by the Institute of Education Sciences, which is the independent, non-partisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education, that support the AllHere approach. Two Key Findings Adaptive text messaging produces results. During the fall of the study year, families randomly assigned to one the text messaging groups received “basic” messaging, which consisted of low-cost, low-burden weekly reminders about the importance of attendance and same-day notifications when their children missed school. In the spring, messages were “adapted:” parents of students with few absences continued with the basic messaging, while the parents of the students who were frequently absent in the fall received additional intensified and personalized messaging. The study compared two approaches and found that the messaging lowered the chronic absence rate, with a larger reduction for students with a prior history of high absence. The two approaches to basic messaging were similarly effective at reducing chronic absence, but one approach to intensified messaging was better than the other for certain students. The basic messaging focused on either the benefits of attending school or the consequences of being absent – similar to what you would find in a mail-based attendance report. But for those who received intensified messaging and had a prior history of high absence, text messages reduced chronic absence rates more. The findings, which reinforce those in Dr. Peter Bergman’s pioneering randomized controlled trial about the impact of sending personalized text messages to families regarding student attendance, and are particularly exciting to us at AllHere, especially in an era where chronic absenteeism has risen to heights heretofore unseen in our nation’s history. A leader in applying educational research, AllHere is continuously evaluating and improving the program with multiple randomized controlled trials and ongoing evaluations that generate evidence of the AllHere approach reaching ESSA Tier 1 standards. View a PDF of essential studies to text messaging on the attendance and academic achievement of students below. Want to talk about the research? Feel free to reach out to us at Studies Leveraging Parents through Low-Cost Technology: The Impact of High-Frequency Information on Student Achievement Bergman, P. & Chan, E.W. (2019) We partnered a low-cost communication technology with school information systems to automate the gathering and provision of information on students’ academic progress to parents of middle and high school students. We sent weekly, automated alerts to parents about their child’s missed assignments, grades, and class absences. The alerts reduced course failures by 28%, increased class attendance by 12%, and increased student retention, though there was no impact on state test scores. There were larger effects for below-median GPA students and high school students. View PDF Can Texting Parents Improve Attendance in Elementary School? A Test of an Adaptive Messaging Strategy Heppen, J.B., Kurki, A., & Brown, S. (2020). Chronic absence is a nationwide problem, even among young students. This report presents findings from a study that tested four versions of an adaptive text messaging strategy to see which, if any, would reduce chronic absence and improve achievement among 26,000 elementary school students. All four versions of the adaptive text messaging strategy reduced chronic absence.

  • Urgency is needed to ensure all students are logging in and showing up

    Kids Missed Spring, Don’t Let them, Miss Fall By Carmen Williams of AllHere Education As former district administrators and as fellow educators, our team at AllHere Education is still reeling from the gargantuan shift that took place last March when Covid-19 hit with full force in the United States. Educators should feel proud of how they adapted to the situation and flexed their muscles in switching mid-stream, without warning or preparation, to 100% online learning. Having said that, we are now back-to-school and in full-swing with mostly remote or hybrid learning settings across the United States, and unfortunately, the news stories and social posts are beginning to appear showcasing the attendance challenges similar to last Spring, are cropping up again. In March, and now again in September, it’s estimated that 50% of students are not logging in or showing up to participate in their learning. As seen here with the King 5 News social post shared via FaceBook, parents in the tech-savvy Seattle, Washington area are already expressing their fears and frustrations that less than half of the 55,000 Seattle Public Schools have logged onto the district online systems since the soft start of classes a few weeks ago. We all know that if students aren’t there, they aren’t getting the optimal learning opportunity to ensure successful student outcomes, and showing up is just the first step. Like in Seattle, Edweek reports thousands of students are not showing up for remote learning and schools are scrambling for easy to implement and affordable solutions to address the attendance challenges in the short and long term. It might have been fine last Spring to accept a once in a lifetime scenario that excused mass absences, but to repeat the problem this Fall is inexcusable to say the least, especially when there are highly accessible and affordable solutions using technology platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) to scale attendance interventions and ensure the majority of students are logging on or showing up. With easy to use and intuitive mobile messaging powered by AI, evidence-based student participation and attendance interventions can be used to engage all students whether they are onsite and in a remote learning setting. Utilizing interactive nudges proven by behavioral science and randomized controlled trials, these highly personalized, one-to-one interactions “nudge” students to participate and engage. Always-there with individual support to help students and families find the right resources and information exactly when they need it, the AI Chatbot acts as an “attendance coach” or advisor answering 70% of incoming messages in 2 seconds or less and steering students to get logged in and online. There are minimal obstacles to implementing technology to manage attendance interventions at scale because it is easy to implement and incredibly affordable. At pennies per student, it remains one of the cheapest, quickest ways to get the return of improving student outcomes. Learn more about the AI Chatbot, the AllHere approach, or the science behind this exciting technology solution for managing attendance interventions at scale, or feel free to reach out to us directly at

  • Startup Fights Absenteeism In Remote, Hybrid and Onsite learning

    Schools and educators across the nation have been under enormous pressure to continue teaching amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to an Education Week research survey, 42% of teachers in May said student engagement was much lower than before the pandemic. CBSN, producer, Jean Song spoke with Joanna Smith, the CEO of Boston educational technology company AllHere, which is using artificial intelligence to improve engagement. View video here

  • The Future of Education Is Here and Why We Shifted Our Strategy

    By Joanna Smith CEO, AllHere Hi everyone! If anyone would have asked me, as a Black female founder of an education technology startup serving the K-12 market, whether I thought education would be conducted entirely remotely during my lifetime, my answer would have been a quick and solid no. As a former middle school math teacher in Boston, I might have even laughed! No one could have imagined what the shuttering of school doors amidst a pandemic would do to our education system, but it happened very quickly—nearly 1.6B students and teachers were forced online, worldwide. With that rapid disruption and instant transition, more than 90% of total enrolled educators and learners were thrown into the deep end of an online learning pool and told to sink or swim. In many cases, we collectively swam: in the U.S., an analysis of district continuity of learning plans covered contingencies ranging from meal distribution, hot spot purchasing to bridge the digital divide, and the rapid uptake of curricular and instructional content applications to provide students with opportunities to ensure that, although schools had closed, learning kept going. In other cases, however, we’ve sunk. Fewer than half of all students across the U.S. participated in online learning this spring, on average. Many districts leveraged police officers or human resource officers to personally visit parents, offering support, help, accountability, and reinforcement. Others turned to their teachers as a first line of support, having every educator call, Zoom, Google Hangout, letter, or carrier pigeon (ha!) each student and each family, every day. In these times, it is clear that Coronavirus has provided an enormous catalyst to accelerate the opportunity of the future to today. At AllHere, for example, before Coronavirus, we focused on the implementation of human-intensive (often face-to-face) interventions through a single platform to ensure that the right student received the right intervention at the right time. Since, however, we’ve shifted our strategy to build and launch an AI virtual assistant (or chatbot) that will be the first fully automated conversational tool for K-12 education through the student lifecycle. Our solution will combine behavioral science–nudges and guided support–with artificial intelligence and natural language understanding to strengthen the connection between educators and students. The virtual assistants will not only respond to student questions automatically, but also proactively guide students and families through complex learning participation processes, gather student data, send reminders, conduct student surveys, and connect students with human advisors. This will increase rates of learning participation during the COVID-19 crisis (and beyond) and facilitate student attendance and reduction of student learning losses, whether students are online or in-person. Before Coronavirus, chronic absenteeism was a problem but since, it’s grown exponentially, and to solve new this new challenge, in this new way, in this still-new world. Equity is absolutely at stake. When school returns this fall, there will likely be an increase in distance or remote learning, or blended in-class and remote learning, and with that, students of color and students whose families are facing economic challenges will need our collective support, more than ever. To ensure that every student, every day has the opportunity to be on track for success, the future of education needs you to strongly support the scaling of effective tools, technologies, and resources to each and every student who needs them, today. At AllHere, these technologies look like combining artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning, and data analytics to create a new standard for supporting students at scale. The support looks like intentional deployment of intellectual and human capital–through mentoring, advisement, introductions to and engagement with critical distribution partners–to ensure that we, as a portfolio company, are generating both authentic impact and meaningful financial returns. In your role, with the assets (intellectual, human, financial, and otherwise!) what does that look like for you? Everyone can help. Look deep into your investment strategy and your thesis to find a way to participate–through mentoring, supporting, or otherwise directly supporting the growth of companies that resonate with what you think this new future of education will need to look like…and it’s more important than ever. If you haven’t heard already, the future of education is here. It needs you. And, it’s your duty, just as it is mine, to ensure that all students have a chance to participate in learning. No pandemic can overpower a literal railroad of people like this community that is committed to doing good, and on behalf of entrepreneurs on the frontlines of this, and other social issues everywhere, we extend gratitude to you. In service, Joanna

  • New Enhancements Featuring AI Chatbot and Streamlined Interface

    With the change to distance learning due to the pandemic, AllHere made the decision to quickly pivot and enhance our leading attendance interventions management platform with key features and functionality to support distance learning and hybrid school models. Key enhancements include: View a student’s profile Send text message to students Read text message replies from students Log a check-in, record a follow-up and record results for a check-in Click here to view the video link for a demo of each feature In addition to adding intervention strategies for remote learning, and an easier, more streamlined interface, we also added an integrated intelligent mobile messaging capability, including an AI Chatbot which acts as a virtual attendance interventions coach. (Read full product launch update here) In order to add this functionality in a matter of weeks, AllHere acquired the “EdNudge” technology and nudging science and techniques from Peter Berman, former owner and current Assitant Professor at Columbia University. These interactive nudges proven by behavioral science and randomized controlled trials by Professor Bergman, drive positive impact and offer zero effort for teachers. The AI Chatbot acts as a virtual attendance coach and can be proactive, when you need to be,  sending campaigns to students to nudge them towards success, or poll them for information. Providing always-there individual support, the AI Chatbot helps students and families find the right resources and information exactly when they need it and can answer 85% of incoming messages in 2 seconds or less. Offering better one-on-one interactions, allowing you to strengthen your student-staff relationships with more time to focus on meaningful interactions. Scientifically proven to impact student outcomes (according to research by Dr. Peter Bergman of Teacher’s College, Columbia University) key takeaways include: Behavioral nudges and interactive campaigns to drive behavior Conversational interface to understand student needs on an individual level Analytics dashboard to drive insights and continuous improvement A Bot builder and trainer designed for those without a tech background How it works: Intelligent Conversational Platform for Student Attendance and Engagement Your AI assistant is your front line support Guide and support students while your team stays one step ahead Your bot responds in less than 2 seconds when it’s confident in an answer When the bot identifies a “priority” topic or doesn’t know the answer, questions are sent to the human team As humans answer new questions, your knowledge base grows, making the bot “smarter” Key highlights: 65-85% of inquiries can be handled before they hit your inbox, improving daily 2 second response time 16% of student inquiries are logged between 5 pm and 8 pm Other key Features: Accurate, automated response. Your bot will accurately answer students’ questions automatically even while you’re sleeping. Want to send a personalized message yourself? No problem, type it in and click send. Nudge and interactive campaign library, planner & builder – Choose from one of the evidence-based templates AllHere has built based on research it has developed. Plan it. Schedule it. Send it. Escalate student conversations based on priority topics. Manage your team’s workload by focusing on what matters. Send data from your SIS to AllHere to build rich student profiles for targeted, personalized, and two-way communication. And now for a limited time, we are offering this amazing, one of a kind technology for K-12 FREE for the summer so that you can reach and provide help where your students and families need it most. Learn more about our Free Trial or contact today at:

  • All Students. All Here.

    Increase student engagement and decrease chronic absenteeism. AllHere Overview All Students Here

  • Attendance Matters: What needs to be done

    Each year, over 8 million students miss 18 or more days of school due to absences. When a student misses 10% of the school year, they are considered chronically absent. Being chronically absent is detrimental for students, schools, and communities alike. AllHere’s VP of Education Impact shares what we can do to reduce chronic absenteeism. The Impact For the 8 million students who are chronically absent, there is a myriad of negative implications. First and foremost, academic success is adversely impacted due to the multiple missed opportunities for classroom teaching and learning. Research shows chronically absent students are more likely to lack basic skills, perform lower on tests, have behavior challenges, and have a higher likelihood of not graduating from high school. Furthermore, chronic absenteeism subverts school performance initiatives and halt federal, state and district-wide educational reforms. In addition, communities suffer, because community resources can become strained given those who are absent from school opt-out of the available health and human service supports provided at schools. What needs to be done Many researchers and practitioners agree that reducing chronic absenteeism is complex, but it can be done. At the district level, we have to have attendance and chronic absenteeism practices and policies that are not punitive towards students and families but empowers schools to be innovative in discovering and meeting critical needs. At the school level, it involves a comprehensive approach to improving students’ and families’ educational experiences. These improvements can include: A positive school climate that welcomes and encourages students and their families. Simultaneously, ensuring that the school does not produce traumatic experiences. Strengthening the relational ties between students, families, and teachers. Greater communication and collaboration between the home and school is a benefit for everyone. Relevant instruction that encourages student engagement and achievement. Collaborating with community members and public and private institutions to leverage resources, services, and support for the school community. How we can do it Good attendance and effective chronic absenteeism practices and policies come from deep problem analysis of why students are missing school. With the found insight and evidence, it should be used to align with the appropriate evidence-based strategy with a direct and timely response to the student and family. Said another way, the right insight, with the right intervention, at the right time, with the right student. Use technology and innovation as a driver for change. Automated phone calls to students’ homes are no longer innovative, however, using technology to discover new insights to help students and families is. Discover the root causes of chronic absenteeism. No more guessing and using limited resources indiscriminately. Using technology to help discover the root causes. Use data analytics tools to discern trends and patterns to inform practice and policies. We have to closely track students’ progress, strategies and overall impact to make wise adjustments. Data analytics also helps to differentiate students and strategies through multi-tiered systems. This is an on-going process Include student and family voices to inform practice and policies. We have to be strategic and intentional in using their voice as a guide to understanding their challenges and employing new strategies. Employ cross-sector collaborative teams to help do the work. Single sector teams find themselves with limited resources to intervene. This practice is insufficient in addressing today’s complex challenges that impede attendance. Employing cross-sector teams from law, social services, family, higher education and business ensures that there are diverse ideas, resources, and access points to students and families. There are 8 million students missing school each year – the equivalent of the entire population of New York – who need our help, our action, and our leadership. I invite you to schedule a demo with the AllHere team to find out how we can partner together to get more students coming to school every day. In partnership, Dr. Aaron T. Jennings, MSW VP of Education Impact

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