ParentEdge Blog

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Common Questions From Administrators About ParentEdge

We get quite a few questions from administrators asking us this or that about ParentEdge.  In an effort to try and make life as easy as possible for our user-base we are going adding a common administrator section question to our blog / website.  Here you will be able to see many of the same questions you might have and what our usual answer is to them.  Of course this is by no means definitive or our way of saying don't bug us.  We would love to hear any questions you might have!  We just hope this makes your life a bit easier if you do need a question or two answered quickly...

What is the full process for setting ParentEdge up?

We require a simple export from your student information system with specific data fields.  Those data fields vary based on the grade level of the school.  Elementary and secondary schools have slightly different requirements.  Once we have the data we then import it into the ParentEdge system.  Teacher and parent accounts are automatically created and linked together based on a student's schedule or teacher (depending on grade level). 

Teachers are notified through email of their username and password and given instructions on how to login.  Parents are notified through email of their username and password and given instructions on how to login and change their contact information. 

The messages are sent out beginning on the day the principal wants.  Each day from there on messages will be sent out automatically at a time chosen by the principal.  This time can be changed whenever needed.

What are the specific points of data required for the export?
Elementary School Data: Student first and last name.  Parent phone number.  Parent email.  Student's teacher.  Teacher's email address.

Secondary School Data:  Secondary schools require to simple exports one for student information and one for teacher information. 

Student: Student first and last name.  Parent phone number.  Parent email. Student schedule including course number, section number, and period number for each class.

Teacher: Teacher first and last name. Teacher Email. Teacher schedule of courses taught including course name, course number, and section number.

How do we make changes to student information once setup is complete?

Each school is provided with a production login that allows them direct access to the student database.  Using this schools can add or delete students, change contact information and change schedule information for each student.  We (ParentEdge) can also take care of any changes if you simply notify us.

How do we add new students?

New students can be added using the production access as explained above.  However, the easiest way to add new students to the ParentEdge system is directly through the ParentEdge website.  Parent of new students can simply go to and fill out a form to be added automatically to the system. 

How many phone numbers and emails can be associated with each student?

1 phone number and 3 email addresses per student.

When are messages sent out?

Messages are sent out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  No messages are sent on days when school is not in session.    Messages go out at the same time each day.  That time is chosen by the school's principal. 

Will the data ever be shared with anyone else?

No, school data will never be shared with any party for any reason unless subpoenaed by law enforcement. 

How are parents notified?

Parents will receive a welcome email containing login information and a detailed explanation about ParentEdge and its functions.  Parents can use the login information to access ParentEdge and change their contact information and opt out of receiving messages.  Parents also receive a welcome text messages stating: You will be receiving homework updates from your child's school.  Std messaging and data rates may apply.  To opt out simply reply STOP to this message.  We also have handouts that can be given to parents.  Full sheet letters explaining ParentEdge along with half-sheet handouts etc…

Where does the text and email actually come from?

The text message will be sent from a virtual phone number specifically created for your school.  It will have the same area code as the school.  All emails sent from ParentEdge come from the address: 

What exactly do teachers have to do each day?

Secondary Teachers: All teachers need to do is login, enter their homework information and click save.  A secondary teacher would only need to enter homework information for each unique course they teach, not each individual section of the same class.  That's it.  Most teachers seem to prefer logging in on a Monday and entering homework info for the entire week.  They can do so without ever having to navigate away from the initial login page. 

Elementary Teachers: Basically the same setup as the secondary teacher.  However, the elementary teacher will have more space to enter information as they are the only teacher on a student's schedule in the system.  They login, enter their homework or parent notification message and click save.  Done.  Most elementary teachers prefer to put in all their info for the week on a Monday and save it as well. 

Do teachers need to set anything up or enroll students/parents in the system?

No, teachers do not have to do anything beyond entering homework information. 

What happens if a teacher doesn't enter information for a day?

At the secondary level, that teachers class is not included in the messages sent out.  At the elementary level, no message is sent out that day to the teacher's class. 

How is teacher training handled?

The ParentEdge interface is very, very easy to understand and requires minimal training for teachers.  There is a short 5 minute video on our website, one for secondary and one for elementary schools, that usually is more than enough for teachers to get a very good idea of how the system works.  In addition, we have documents of varying length and detail that can be provided to teacher as well to be used as a quick reference sheet or a detailed walkthrough of ParentEdge. 

 Can teachers send messages to one single individual parent?

No, ParentEdge doesn't, at the moment, allow for a teacher to message an individual parent in the classroom.  Whatever the teacher enters into the system is sent to all students in that course. 

Can administrators see what teachers are entering for homework each day?

Yes, administrators will be provided with a login that allows them to see what homework teachers have entered for the week.  This account lets principals see who is using the system and what they are entering for homework. 

What other features does ParentEdge currently have for administrators?

The administrator account allows for principals to generate a weekly homework report for the building.  This report shows what all teachers have entered during the week.  Finally, administrators also have the option of checking out daily and yearly statistics to see how many messages ParentEdge has sent out to parents during the school year.

Can administrators send messages to individual parents or group messages to the school population?

Currently that feature is not in place.  It will be added at some point during this school year though with the capability of individual parent messaging and group messaging.  Our thinking is that it will be particularly useful for counselors and other administrators needing to contact parents regularly.  The major feature will be allowing administrators to have a real-time text message conversation with parents through the ParentEdge system.  

ParentEdge by the Numbers Infographic!

So lets review some of the numbers for ParentEdge to this point.  Our ParentEdge application has been available to schools since September of this year.  At this point we have more than 20 schools and districts currently using ParentEdge as their go-to way for quickly and easily communicating homework to parents every day through texting and email.  Our homework texts and homework emails reach over 8,000 parents a night and that number continues to grow as more and more parents sign up with ParentEdge.   

To give you an idea of the numbers:

Parents receiving SMS homework texts daily: 7800

Parents receiving email homework updates daily: 4800

Unique total number of parents receiving SMS homework text, homework email, or both: 8,300

Percentage of Parents opting out of receiving the ParentEdge daily SMS homework text or email: 4% (smaller is better!)

Virtual phone numbers used by ParentEdge to this point for each school: 23

Total homework texts sent out this school year: 275,000 These texts contain homework information, study reminders, and other important info from teachers.

Total homework emails sent out to this school year: 186,000 emails with homework info.  

Ramsey Junior High School begins using ParentEdge!

Dearborn, MI - January 22, 2014 - We are proud to announce that ParentEdge homework texting and email messaging has begun at Ramsey Junior High School which is located in Fort Smith, AR.  Ramsey Junior High is a great school and we are proud to be working with them.  The setup and communication has been outstanding between all parties involved and we are thrilled that the Ramsey Junior High community has bought into ParentEdge.  

A few comments in case there are any questions from stakeholders:


If you have any questions regarding how ParentEdge works, how your classes are setup, how to enter data, or anything else please get in contact with us directly.  We are happy to provide detailed support for any issues or questions you might encounter so please don’t hesitate to email us at  In addition, here are some links to our support sections that might help answer your questions:

Secondary Teacher Support

ParentEdge Teacher Features


Thank you for receiving the homework texts that ParentEdge sends out and thank you for being involved in your child’s education.  We hope that you find ParentEdge to be a valuable and worthwhile tool to better help your child succeed academically.  If you have any questions please email us at and we will address them immediately.  In addition, here are a couple of helpful links that might provide you with more information on ParentEdge.  If you wish to opt out of receiving messages, please click here:

ParentEdge Parent Support

ParentEdge Parent Features

Finally: Parents, we would love to hear from you regarding your thoughts on ParentEdge. Please take the ParentEdge survey linked here and let us know what you think!


The ParentEdge Team!

Our Parent Survey is now open!

In the next few weeks we will begin reaching out to parents, teachers, and administrators for feedback on ParentEdge and what they think of the service.  It is our hope that by gathering this feedback we can improve ParentEdge to best serve the needs of our schools.  We want to hear what you think so we can do better.  

With that in mind we have created a new parent survey page where we hope to hear from you. You can get access to it here.  

In the next few weeks we will be adding a teacher survey and an administrator survey as well.  

ParentEdge Daily: Pay Attention!

Daily Education Tip for Students: Make sure that you actually listen to what your teacher is saying in class.  Seems obvious but man, very few kids actually do it.  It would make such a huge difference for you as a student.  Why?  Because you might actually know what is going on.  Now, I realize that if you are reading this you are more than likely a kid that pays attention in class since you are reading a blog about paying attention in class.  However, I would suggest telling your friends, “hey pay attention”.  Not that hard to do and it can make a huge difference for them.

ParentEdge News: ParentEdge is going to be updating all of the schools that are currently moving to their second semester soon.  Teachers will be seeing their classes entered into the system over the next few weekends depending on when your semester actually starts.  Students and parents will see no difference except the daily homework texts will now contain their up to date schedule with correct class information for the second semester.  Depending on your building the homework texts will stop for a day or (or not) as we do the updates.  Email us at if you have any questions.  

ParentEdge Daily: Be Realistic

Daily Education Tip: Parents, try to talk with your students every day about school without pressuring them.  Is this an obvious one?  Yes.  Is it easy to do? Yes and no.  It all depends.  Just make sure your kids know you care about school and how they are doing in it.  Again though, don’t pressure them too much.  In the long run this can have a very negative impact on their overall success in school and life.  A little bit of encouragement and pushing can go a long way.  However an overbearing amount of intense pressure to get a perfect score on everything is not good.  If your child can achieve that they will whether you go overboard demanding it.  If they can’t do that well on everything no amount of pressure will make it possible.  Be realistic, love your children, and support them.

ParentEdge News: We will be updating all of the schools that will start their new semester in the next few weeks.  Student schedule data will be re-imported to insure that ParentEdge sends out homework text messages with the correct homework information for each class.  This will only be done for the schools whose students switch schedules for the new semester.

Quick Tips: Getting Ready to Take a Test (the non studying part)

Sometimes all kids think about before they take a test is how they need to study.  There is no thought about how to physically and mentally prepare for a big test they are taking.  That needs to change.  Here are a few tips to help out.  Most will be obvious but it seems that everyone overlooks them anyway:

  • Get some sleep the night before the test.  Studying until the bell rings the next day for first hour doesn't really help a student prepare for a test.  They need to get some rest.  You can only cram so much into one night of studying.  Get some sleep. Staying up a bit to study is fine but try to get to bed by midnight.
  • Eat breakfast before school. I know this is sound advice for every school day but it is rarely followed by some students.  However, it is absolutely key on test days.  If your test is in the morning hours you must eat something before you come to school.  Preferably that food should have a good mix of protein and carbs to keep you energized and ready throughout the morning.  A bunch of sugar from a red-bull or 5-hour energy doesn't cut it at all.
  • Relax, it isn't the end of the world. Lots of kids build up certain tests to be the end all be all of their entire academic life.  "If I fail this test, my future is ruined" etc...  That is no way to go into a test and it is no way to think in general.  No test in high school, no matter how big it seems, holds that much sway over your future.  If you do poorly on one test it will not ruin your life.  Obviously you want to do well but if for some reason you don't there is always tomorrow.  Remember that.

Dealing with Test Anxiety: Part 1

kids taking test

As a teacher I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from parents how nervous and anxious their child gets when they are about to take a high stakes test. This is usually the same student who has done all their work and behaves in class.  Yet when it comes to taking a test they are usually quite ready to freak out and psych themselves out of a good grade before they even sit down for the high stakes test. Test anxiety is a real problem today in schools because of what it is doing to our kids and what it is doing to their grades.  Thankfully there are a few ways in which it can be dealt with.  In almost every instance, especially in the early grades at middle school and high school, it starts with parents being knowledgeable about what their children can do to relax and succeed on high stakes tests and quizzes.  In this article I have outlined several actionable tips that can be used to help your child deal with test anxiety. Obviously there are a large number of factors that play into why a student experiences certain test anxiety before any type of test or quiz they may be facing.  Throughout the course of these articles I will try to hit on the major issues that can lead to this test anxiety and what can be done to combat each of them.

This first part will focus on what, in many cases, can be a quick and easy fix for test anxiety that many students live with today.  The idea behind this concept is simple:

When students understand the material they will have confidence in themselves and feel far less anxious about the test they are taking or studying for.

Obviously it isn’t an end all be all quick answer or solution but this first topic we will cover can go a very, very long way to alleviating many of the anxious and stressed feelings students experience before, during, and after a test.  It is something that is practiced by the top students in every class on a daily or weekly basis whether they realize it or not.  It is the reason I have students come in feeling ready to go for a test, feeling completely confident in their ability to succeed on it.  Though not the sole reason for test anxiety I have seen this solution be a major help to many of my students who struggle with mild to severe cases of test anxiety.

The fix to which I am referring is simply the art of test preparation, better known as studying.  When students study correctly they understand the material.  When students understand the material they will have confidence in themselves and feel far less anxious about the test they are taking or studying for.

I know it sounds so obvious as to be laughable yet simply studying and preparing for a test can make all the difference in the world for a huge number of students.  However, this simple answer requires far more explanation than you may think it does.

In short, I would say (and obviously there are exceptions to this) the vast majority of students who suffer from test anxiety do not prepare well enough.  While not always the cause of the anxiety, it greatly contributes to it in almost every case I have ever dealt with.  In short, if your son or daughter suffers from test anxiety I would be willing to argue that they are more than likely not preparing properly for tests.  Again, that doesn’t apply to everyone but it is more than likely an issue.  I know you will say they study hard and work tirelessly so they can do well but I have to say from experience that most times the students don’t know how to study properly.  In many cases also, the parents seem to not be aware of what exactly their child considers “studying”.  If you’ve never thought about it before now, please think and consider, what exactly does your son or daughter do while studying?  How do they study? What do they study?  Where do they study?  How long do they study?  With whom do they study?  In my experience as a teacher I must be honest; I have rarely met a parent who can answer even 2 or 3 of those questions, let alone all of them.

The first step in truly helping your student prepare for a test in hopes of beating test anxiety involves being able to answer the questions asked above.  Now, since I know most parents haven’t exactly been students in high school for quite some time I realize that proper study habits might be something forgotten or perhaps never truly known before.  So, with that in mind, I’m going to give you a brief rundown of what constitutes “bad” studying first and then what is “good” studying.

First, let’s talk about what is “bad” studying for a test by looking at time spent, study environment, distractions present, and several other factors.

  • Cramming is bad –  A major problem with students studying today is that they simply do not understand the time required to study and fully master material they will be tested on.  It takes time to learn things, cramming is almost always going to lead to anxiety and poor understanding.
  • Studying with distractions is bad – Studying while watching TV, texting with friends socially, randomly hanging out on Facebook or twitter, listening to music (sometimes, this depends a great deal with the individual child), or even simply studying in a busy part of the house all constitute serious distractions.  If your son or daughter is studying in one of these environments, put a stop to it.
  • Hanging out with friends and calling it studying is bad – Going over to a friend’s house, meeting at the coffee shop, or meeting after school somewhere to study often leads to a whole lot of “not studying” going on.  Obviously study groups can be a great tool for students to learn from however in most cases today study groups end of being at best a poor use of unfocused study time to at worst simply being an excuse for kids to hang out together with no studying at all.
  • Looking at the review guide once and calling it good is bad – Simply looking at a test review guide one time or spending half an hour looking at the solutions to some sample problems or concepts doesn’t cut it in most classes past 8th grade.  Most classes these days require real preparation.  Simply looking at some answers for a few minutes doesn’t even come close.

Now let’s talk about what good studying is and how you can fix the “bad” studying:

  • Not waiting until the last night is good- The first thing to do is not wait until the night before a test to study.  Slowly but surely reviewing material little by little every day will go a long way towards helping improve a student’s understanding of material.  As a reminder: When students understand the material they will have confidence in themselves and feel far less anxious about the test they are taking or studying for.
  • Creating a study zone is good – Help your child create a study zone, a place where they are going to study and not do anything else.  Make sure they know, “this is where I go to study.”  It should have limited distractions and allow for total focus on material.  
  • Limit social interaction unless it truly is study time-  As stated above most times high school or middle school study groups end up being about social time rather than study time.  However, if you can get a group of hardworking and dedicated kids together who all want to succeed on a test and can resist the temptation to simply talk about whatever a study group can be hugely beneficial.  The challenge is simply finding the right group.
  • Don’t do the minimum and think it is enough – Make sure your kids spend enough time studying to make it worthwhile.  Don’t let them off easily.  Ask them what they studied, what they looked at, and how much time they actually spent on it.  There is no easy path to understanding and learning.  It takes time and it takes hard work.  If it was easy, there wouldn’t be any test anxiety.  To see 7 great and specific ways to prepare for tests, check this out. 
  • Pay attention in class more – Though obviously not a study tip specifically this basic idea can go a very long way in helping your children feel much better prepared and knowledge about the material.  It prevents that sticker shock that many of them feel when they go to start studying for a test having paid little attention in class for the past week.  It can make all the difference.

As a reminder one more time: When students understand the material they will have confidence in themselves and feel far less anxious about the test they are taking or studying for.

I hope these ideas will prove useful and meaningful to you in helping your child deal with test anxiety.  As you can see this article focused specifically on a quick fix that you as a parent can try to start helping with today in your child’s schooling.  However, test anxiety can sometimes be a bit more complicated than simple preparation and study habits.  The next part of this article will focus more on the non-school aspects of a student’s life that can contribute greatly to test anxiety and what can be done to combat them.

As always, I hope what you have read here helps you and your family.  If you think it does, please don’t hesitate to share it with others who you think it may help.