Customer Story

Helping parents easily find information with a school app

Play Video

The challenge

The Wisconsin Lutheran High School team faced several challenges in communicating with their community. To start with, there were several instances of doubling up when it came to their messaging, and they often sent multiple communications to parents to convey one specific message. It was also difficult to keep track of the multiple messages because they were sent across multiple channels, and by different teams within the schools. We sat down with Carolyn Sachs, Director of Communications at Wisconsin Lutheran, to find out more about their past experiences and how their Digistorm app helped them to meet their challenges.

“A lot of our information was housed on the website, and we also had an email campaign that would go out. We had many different channels and many different sports. Cocurriculars were using their own social media. We were looking for an app; we knew we needed something but we weren’t quite sure.”

It was also a challenge for parents to easily find the information they were searching for, whether it be the timetable for a sports event or details about the uniform shop. The Wisconsin team understood how important user experience was for their families and wanted to make the information-finding experience much more accessible.

“Before the app parents had to search for information, it was very frustrating, they didn’t know where exactly to go.”

With busy lives, communication needs to be as easy to access and convenient for parents as possible. Many of our global community of schools fave similar challenges when it comes to communication:

  • Difficulty sharing information about day-to-day activities

  • Information that lives across different channels like the school website, different social media accounts, email or paper newsletters

  • Inability to deliver urgent, time-sensitive information

  • Overreliance on paper notices and newsletters

  • Lack of engagement with school notices

“So we know that parents have trust and confidence that they can find information here on the app. And it’s become a one-stop shop for our parents and students to find information, as well as we don’t have to double our communication efforts, and it’s worked seamlessly into our communication program.”

Custom branding

All Digistorm Apps are built to the highest design standards and User Experience (UX) best practices, creating a seamless extension of your school's visual identity. Effective and consistent branding creates trust, which in turn helps schools to build a network of families who are loyal to your school and are proud to be a part of your community,

Understanding the importance of their newly refreshed school branding, the Wisconsin Lutheran team wanted their community to have a consistent and connected experience with their new school app. When interacting with the school at any touchpoint, parents should always feel like part of the overall school ecosystem and culture, offering a seamless brand experience across multiple different channels, like their website and their actual campus.

“Something that was important to us was the branding of the app. We had recently gone through a rebrand with the high school, and Digistorm was able to take the colour and the pieces of our rebrand to create something unique for us.”

Adopting the app

It can be a stressful event to bring a new piece of technology into your school, especially one which will serve as a fundamental part of your communication program. To make the transition as easy as possible for our schools, Digistorm has a dedicated onboarding process. Our team helps schools on board with all the training, and a step-by-step app-build so that school teams feel confident and set up for success. All Digistorm clients also have access to ongoing support training to make sure they get the most of out their tools.

“Digistorm has great onboarding and training, and personal one-on-one help. We would go step by step through the process, and actually, the app is very user-friendly so it was very easy. It’s been great working with Digistorm, I get customised help whenever I need it, Zoom phone calls, and just great support.”

It was great to see the Wisconsin Lutheran community find the app useful from the start, as it immediately set about filling communication gaps for parents.

“The app has been received really well! When we first started this project we had a goal of about 500 signing up within the first year. It hasn’t even been a full year and we have almost 1000 signed up.”

From the number of sign-ups alone, it was clear that they’d solved a core communication problem that parents had been experiencing. It can be difficult for some schools to change the way things are done and adopt new technology and processes, but the Wisconsin Lutheran team understood the long-term negative impact of letting communication spiral across multiple channels. By investing in a parent app, they’ve improved processes for both their own teams and their families. Their new app also gave them key insights into the behaviour of their parents.

“We can see that the number one place our parents are going to is the calendar module in the app. And with the calendar module, you’re able to funnel down exactly what schedules that your son or daughter might be in, and find that information right away.”

Wrapping up

Wisconsin Lutheran High School recognised that they needed to simplify the way parents find day-to-day information, and introducing an app helped them to consolidate communication and give parents an easier way of accessing important information. Embracing new ways of doing things can be tough, but through dedicated onboarding support and a positive response post-launch, the Wisconsin Lutheran team has achieved a strong update and positive feedback from their parents and students alike.

Thinking about a school app?
Talk to our team about how you can streamline communication.