School practices for contacting parents should be modernized because they lack reliability and are often ineffective. A field-test was conducted with support from Motorola to assess the potential of new communication methods. One method allows teachers, using a common set of codes, to record notable student conduct onto personal digital assistants (PDAs). The second method enables faculty to notify parents by pager quickly so they can assume their priority role for corrective guidance or reinforce reports of good behavior. Fourteen faculty documented the notable behaviors of 108 high school students and reported to parents using pagers during one semester. Over 90% of faculty concluded that PDAs facilitate accurate record keeping and sending pager messages is a more efficient way of contacting parents than by telephone. More than 90% of the parents reported that pagers are easy to operate and messages are simple to interpret by referring to the School Code of Recordable Events (SCORE). Faculty, parents, and students provided recommendations for improving the new communication system.


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pp. 14-21
Launched on MUSE
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