We've been working hard during this unprecedented period to ensure you have access to the tools you need, when you need them. As the situation has changed substantially since we last updated you on the blog, we wanted to give you an insight into everything we have been working on this week.
Reacting to the impact of school absences
Last week a substantial increase in absences resulted in an increased volume of support questions for our team to respond to. Our remote working plan has now been in place succesfully for over a week, and has left us well placed to respond to this increased demand, whether over the phone or online (indeed, we registered an increase in inquiries taking place through our LiveChat functionality).
Yesterday we saw a further surge in student absence rates, rising to 45% across the country, as the graph below demonstrates. This resulted in a fivefold increase in SMS absence notifications across our schools globally. Just as our Support team have been ready to act quickly to assist schools, our Operations team significantly increased the capacity of our absence notification system, and will be closely monitoring the situation over the coming days and weeks.
Now that school closures are in place in Victoria, and look likely to extend to other states, we know that many schools are planning for changes to their attendance processes. As part of these changes, we recommend that you review whether or not the automated SMS notification is suitable for your community during this time. Please get in touch with our Support team if you need any assistance with turning off your attendance notifications.
Enabling greater communication with your community
We have seen a substantial rise in parent and student communications by email, SMS and through the Compass mobile app, as schools continue to ensure their communities are kept up to date. While most schools have already enabled parent and carer communication and the portal within Compass, we have received some questions from schools wishing to enable this functionality. The parent portal and Compass mobile apps are available to all Compass schools at no additional cost. If you'd like assistance enabling or using these features, please contact us.
Remember, messages sent through Compass by email, news feed or push notification are free, while SMS messages incur a per message cost.
Additional functionality at no extra cost
To assist any schools who may not have all of our functionality for learning management, online work submission and school resource management, or our SMS/bulk messaging tools, we have taken the decision to enable these for schools at no cost for the next three months. Existing schools without these modules can email our Support team and we will enable these for you - on the spot - free for three months.
Supporting all school communities
In light of increased demand from non-Compass schools we have established a new team to assist schools who wish to do a rapid implementation of Compass. New schools wishing to implement Compass will be able to sign up for a three month licence at no cost and we have removed our implementation and training fees during this time, allowing schools to get online faster.
Webinars and additional online resources
Over the next few days, many schools will continue to plan for online delivery of classes. To help schools through this time we will be running a number of webinars to provide guidance on our online assessment tools, as well as tips and tricks to distribute curriculum resources to students and their parents and carers.
Our team of experts will begin the session with a run-through of our Learning Tasks, Lesson Plans and School Resources modules, and then provide a Q&A session at the end to assist schools with their questions. Please register your interest for the appropriate session by following the links below.
Compass Remote Learning with Q&A for Primary Schools
Thursday, March 26th - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM AEDT
Compass Remote Learning with Q&A for Secondary Schools
Thursday, March 26th - 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM AEDT
We are also pleased to announce that we have established an exclusive Facebook group for Compass school communities as a space for educators and school staff to share tips and tricks for using Compass during this period. After all, cooperation and communication is essential to ensuring the best practices in such an uncertain time!
As always, if you have any questions or need any assistance with Compass at your school, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. While we are reducing the number of onsite visits we make, we continue to be available by phone, email and LiveChat to assist your team.