Santa Barbara-based edtech company advances K-12 communications equity over the past decade with its premier platform
For decades, districts, schools, and teachers used different tools to communicate with families, making it confusing and difficult for parents and guardians to keep up. In 2011, parent and computer engineer Anupama Vaid set out to build a solution to engage every family with school communications—and all in one place. That solution, ParentSquare, now celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Since the company’s founding by Vaid and her husband Sohit Wadhwa a decade ago, ParentSquare has become the premier unified school-home engagement platform for K-12 education. The Santa Barbara-based company now serves almost half of all schools in California and has expanded to 44 states.
“When I was working, I was getting so much information from so many different sources at my child’s school, it was nearly impossible to stay on top of it all. When I transitioned to be a stay-at-home mom and volunteered as a room parent, I realized that being involved with school is like a full-time job, and I experienced a big difference in how connected I felt with our school community,” said Vaid, ParentSquare Co-Founder & President.
“Those experiences guided my vision for a parent engagement tool that would work from the district office to the individual classroom,” Vaid continued. “I wanted to bring that feeling of connectedness to every family at school—and in a very intuitive and easy to manage way.”
“Our 10th anniversary comes at a critical time as schools continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sohit Wadhwa, ParentSquare Co-Founder & CEO. “Districts and schools now rely on our platform more than ever before, for everything from emergency notifications to classroom communications to daily health screening workflows.”
Over the past several years, ParentSquare has experienced tremendous growth as districts and schools have seen the benefits of building better school-home connections. For example, from 2016 to 2020, ParentSquare has averaged year-over-year revenue growth of nearly 100%, tied to a similar increase in the number of schools adopting ParentSquare, and the number of parents, students, and staff users.
Since its founding, ParentSquare has received industry recognition in numerous awards programs. It was named a winner of the 2020 SIIA CODiE Awards, 2020 EdTech Awards, and 2019 Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence. This year, ParentSquare was a CODiE Awards finalist in the “Best Customer Experience in EdTech” category, which recognized companies, products, and people in the education technology sector that have gone the extra mile in response to COVID-19.
In fact, one of the most vital features that ParentSquare developed in the wake of the pandemic was its Health Screening form. Launched in August 2020, the form has been adopted by thousands of schools, resulting in over 20 million daily health screening submissions by staff and students in its first year. ParentSquare is proud of the role the form has played in helping make school communities safer and healthier.
While expanding its reach, ParentSquare has continued to invest in its technology platform and its team. The company has grown to include 66 employees in 20 states. In March 2020, it acquired Signal Kit LLC, a mass notification and internal collaboration platform, and partnered with Aequitas Q and Aeries student information systems. In December 2020, ParentSquare raised $7 million in new funding to invest in its platform and products, and to further scale its operations to serve even more K-12 schools and districts nationwide. Most recently, in August 2021, ParentSquare received a significant growth investment from Serent Capital.
As ParentSquare enters its second decade, the founders are looking both back and ahead. “We are grateful to the millions of parents and educators who have embraced our unified approach and commitment to communications equity,” Wadhwa said, “and we look forward to continuing to develop new products and scale our services to meet their most pressing communications needs.”
ParentSquare (http://www.parentsquare.com), founded in 2011, is based in Santa Barbara, CA.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.