Hilltop Road Public School
Seesaw helps Hilltop Road Public School engage their diverse parent community and cross language barriers.
Cheryl Romer is an Assistant Principal and classroom teacher at Hilltop Road Public School. Hilltop Road serves 740 students from 57 different countries in a low socioeconomic area of New South Wales, Australia. Their parent and student community has a high percentage of English language learners across a wide diversity of cultures.
Communicating with a Diverse Parent Community
Seesaw originally started with just one grade, but then parents asked their other children’s teachers to start using Seesaw as well. “Our parents consider our school the hub of the community. It’s not just a school for the kids, it’s a school for the parents.”
“We use Seesaw in everything we do. The connection with parents is so important in supporting the ethos of our school. There hasn’t been one negative comment out of 740 students! The feedback with students has become increasingly important as well. Learning can be anywhere, anytime, anyhow and we’re changing our pedagogy to fit that.”
Since they began using Seesaw to document learning, everything from field trips, to math problems to writing assignments has been recorded.
Cheryl says that most things that happen in the classroom now go into Seesaw, so that parents can see what their child is doing, and parents know what to ask their child about when they get home from work.
Crossing Language Barriers
“With Seesaw, our teachers are now more aware that parents really do want a window into the classroom. The ability for parents to comment and give their kids feedback in their own language and for the kids to receive that feedback, is a great opportunity. Why not give parents access to that?”
Not only are parents more informed during the moment, but parent-teacher conferences have also been more meaningful. “For us, when it comes to parent-teacher conferences, we can show parents what real learning looks like. Nothing is off limits in these conversations now because they’ve already seen it. Parents can really see that progress over time.”
Motivating Students by Providing an Authentic Audience
Not only have parents embraced Seesaw, but so have students. “The kids love it! Absolutely love it. Seesaw has made them think about the quality of their work and who will see it. One of my little girls was writing a narrative included in her narrative were the words ‘and then when I got home my mom had already seen it on Seesaw’. Seesaw is part of all we do.”