Whilst CareMonkey deployment may have originally stalled at IS 72, Jackson, Rocco and their team made enormous strides, making-up for lost time across May and June.
“Ironically, the diversion from our best intentions regarding CareMonkey stopped once the pandemic started,” said Rocco. “Over the past eight weeks in particular, we’ve made some fantastic progress.”
Whilst IS 72’s renewed and uncompromising focus to go digital drove its CareMonkey roll-out, Rocco pinpointed five key factors that underpinned the school’s ultimate success, including:
- Assigning a specific school leader to own the CareMonkey rollout — from start to finish
- Deploying a multi-channel campaign to drive CareMonkey registration (social media, email, letters, phone calls)
- Utilizing CareMonkey implementation and support resources, handbook and teams
- Consulting with other CareMonkey schools to benefit from lessons learned
- Using CareMonkey as the only means to distribute and receive important all forms — especially start-of-year forms (to drive adoption amongst the school community)
“In hindsight, I wish we’d chosen one person to lead our CareMonkey rollout from the beginning,” said Rocco. “Initially, we all tried to own a piece of it. While this made sense at the time, from a collaborative perspective, it ultimately made the rollout harder to manage.”
Things really started moving when Jessica Jackson, IS 72 Principal, delegated responsibility for CareMonkey deployment, registration and adoption to Rocco.
“Once the responsibility was placed on my shoulders, I had the mandate to really push forward, execute the Principal’s vision, and make CareMonkey work for our school community,” said Rocco. “Fellow CareMonkey schools, such as Staten Island Tech and IS 7, provided some great advice for using CareMonkey early-on and establishing buy-in from parents. Dina Testa, the Assistant Principal at Elias Bernstein IS 7, has been extremely supportive in particular. She’s really helped lead the CareMonkey charge in NYC.”
After speaking with IS 7 and others, Rocco knew that preparing his school community for the transition to CareMonkey would be critical when it came to ensuring early adoption and ongoing success.
“We knew that getting the word out, through multiple channels, was going to be important,” said Rocco. “We started with a social media campaign to create awareness and then push sign-up, coupled with emails to prepare and pre-warn our parents. This set the scene for successful adoption. In fact, we had parents calling the school asking when we were distributing invitations to activate their CareMonkey accounts.”
Rocco also used the ‘divide and conquer’ method, rolling-out separate sign-up campaigns for incoming sixth graders and returning students moving into years seven or eight.
“I was able to leverage the enthusiasm of incoming students and their families as well as the help from CareMonkey’s Head of Customer Success, Sam Banks,” said Rocco. “Sam helped us perform a manual upload of incoming sixth graders, we sourced their Gmail accounts and paired that with social media campaigns to increase preparedness. They were all really in-tune with the digital platforms we have and so were excited to get started with CareMonkey.
“Our returning seventh and eighth graders required an extra nudge, but we simply used CareMonkey’s auto-reminders feature to give them the push needed.”
Rocco emphasized that using CareMonkey as the sole method to distribute important start-of-year forms was a decision that helped the school drive registration and adoption.
“If you expect your community to embrace the platform, the school itself has to as well,” said Rocco. “So we distributed all our critical forms and requests for information for all incoming and returning students through CareMonkey — parents simply had to activate their CareMonkey accounts in order to provide the data we needed.”
To both gather information IS 72 required for the 2020 – 2021 school year, as well as commence its CareMonkey on-boarding process, Rocco began with three specific forms.
“We pinpointed Emergency Contact Cards, Parent Media Consent Forms and our IS 72 Clothing Store Policy as important documents that had to be signed by parents,” said Rocco. “Distributing these forms to parents through CareMonkey, from the outset, meant that we were able to generate strong sign-ups and set a precedent for how we expected to distribute and receive communications on an ongoing basis. We were creating a one-stop-shop for our parents and a single source of truth for the school.”