The Story Behind SchoolBzz
A growing body of research underscores the connection between parent engagement and student outcomes. Yet parents who are not adequately informed about what’s happening in their child’s classroom or within the school community at large may lack the opportunities to participate fully in their child’s education.
Our SchoolBzz Team has been collaborating with school leaders for over 15 years. We are parents, charter school founders and technology entrepreneurs. We have developed a proprietary communications platform to simplify how schools share information with families. And our professional services team helps schools with their student recruitment and retention strategies.
With the increased focus on learning at home, we’ve recently expanded our SchoolBzz website to include additional resources for families - an Edtech Directory with information about some of the most common tools used in our K12 schools, and a weekly newsletter with the latest buzz in education, technology tips and a little humor along the way.
We recognize how challenging this past year has been for our families, teachers and school communities. As we continue to forge ahead into an uncertain 2021, our SchoolBzz Team remains committed to supporting the parents and caregivers of our next generation.
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Parents are overwhelmed. SchoolBzz hires first developer to build a new school communications platform.
Information isn’t relevant. SchoolBzz launches pilot program giving parents a choice over what, when and how they get updates.
Too many tools. SchoolBzz leverages relationships with strategic partners to automate updates and save teachers time.
News from SchoolBzz
SchoolBzz Founder, Jennifer Larson, Featured in AWS EdStart Global Founder Series
October 2020 - This fall AWS launched their Global Founder Series - an exclusive group of AWS EdStart Members from around the globe who’ve demonstrated innovative edtech solutions and growth on the AWS Cloud. We’ve spent the last several weeks collaborating with the AWS team on some new materials which showcase our SchoolBzz story. Check them out!
AWS Public Sector Blog: Two EdTech founders changing parental involvement and health in the classroom
AWS Video Testimonial: Improving K12 School Communications with Jennifer Larson
AWS Founder’s Corner (aka startup advice!): Jennifer Larson, SchoolBzz Founder
AWS EdStart: Meet our Global Founders
School Marketing in the Age of COVID
October 2020 - Our founder, Jennifer Larson, was invited to present at the Colorado League of Charter Schools Annual Leadership Summit.
SchoolBzz Joins Twilio Startups Program
August 2020 - The Twilio Startups Program supports founders globally through education, mentoring and introductions.
SchoolBzz Joins PowerSchool Partner Program
July 2020 - SchoolBzz is a new PowerSchool Learning Apps Partner enabling us to leverage the vast PowerSchool community to further our mission to improve school-to-home communications and support the 96 million parents with school-age children in the U.S.
SchoolBzz Pitches at Edtech Week 2020 Shark Tank
June 2020 - This year EdTech Week launched as a series of virtual events. Their Shark Tank pitch event was an opportunity for SchoolBzz to connect with industry leaders, educators, investors and other entrepreneurs.
SchoolBzz Joins Broadnet Channel Partner Program
May 2020 - New partnership brings virtual town hall services to K12 school districts to help keep all members of a school’s community connected and informed. Learn more about SchoolBzz Townhall.
Our Founder Recognized by Project W for her Efforts During COVID-19
May 2020 - Project W is a program supported by the team at Davis Wright Tremaine. It’s focused on helping women build great companies, advance their careers, and achieve parity in the workplace. This month they’ve been recognizing members with a special Founders on the Frontline promotion. Check it out!
SchoolBzz Partners with SchoolClosures.org
April 2020 - SchoolClosures.org was created in response to the global pandemic. With millions of families not digitally connected, we’ve helped them launch a national effort to put computers into the homes of students. If you are in a position to give, please join us by donating to our #GiveComputers GoFundMe Campaign.
SchoolBzz Launches Daily Newsletter for Parents
March 2020 - As parents, we recognized the challenge of balancing your work and home life as many schools around the country began to close. We launched SchoolBzz Daily to address some of the questions we were hearing and to share some helpful tips to help keep children engaged during these unprecedented times.
SchoolBzz Announces COVID-19 Response
March 2020 - With schools across the nation moving to a remote learning program, SchoolBzz saw usage of its parent app double almost overnight. As many schools scrambled to find ways to keep learning alive, our team unveiled a suite of services and promotions to assist our K12 school communities. Visit our SchoolBzz COVID Resources page.
SchoolBzz Alexa Launch – Cancelled
March 2020 - As we approached the much anticipated SXSW EDU conference, our team was excited to show off our new SchoolBzz Alexa skill, adding to our portfolio of solutions for parent engagement. Yet as we all know, events around the globe came to a grinding halt in March 2020 with the escalating health crisis, and schools across the country began to close. TechCrunch article – SXSW Cancelled.
SchoolBzz Alexa – Coming to SXSW Edu 2020!
February 2020 - “Hey Alexa, what’s today’s SchoolBzz?” SchoolBzz was selected to participate in the AWS Startup Village and we will be showcasing our new SchoolBzz Alexa skill at SXSW Edu!
EdTech Startup Show Podcast – Interview with Jennifer Larson
December 2019 - Listen to Podcast
SchoolBzz Named as Alternate in Amazon Alexa EdTech Skills Challenge
SchoolBzz Announces Amazon Translate Integration to Provide Multi-Language Support as featured by The Learning Counsel
November 2019 - Read Article
SchoolBzz Wins AWS EdStart Pitch Competition
October 2019 – San Francisco – AWS Loft
Why We Partnered with Schoology as featured in edCircuit
October 2019 - Read Article
SchoolBzz Named Learning Counsel App of the Week as featured by The Learning Counsel
October 2019 - Read Article
SchoolBzz Podcast Interview with Jennifer Larson by TL Talk Radio
October 2019 - Listen to Podcast
SchoolBzz Named Best School Communication Tool by 2019 Tech Edvocate Awards edCircuit
August 2019 - Read Article
Communicating to Create Happy Families – Jennifer Larson on the Transformative Principal Podcast by Jethro Jones
August 2019 - Listen to Podcast
Jennifer C. Larson, CEO of Hive Digital Minds – A DotCom Magazine Exclusive Interview DotCom Magazine
August 2019 - Read Article
EduTechGuys Podcast with Jennifer Larson
July 2019 - Listen to Podcast
SchoolBzz Partners with Schoology to Provide Integrated Parent Communication Solution as featured by The Learning Counsel
July 2019 - Read Article
SchoolBzz Showcased at LearnLaunch Summer Showcase
July 2019 – Boston, MA
Parent Engagement 101: Building a Thriving School Community
Presented at the annual Schoology Next User Conference
July 2019 – Boca Raton, FL
SchoolBzz Takes 3rd Place in AWS EdStart Pitch Competition
April 2019 – Washington, DC
SchoolBzz Wins International Women’s Day Pitch Competition
Presented by World Denver and Microsoft
February 2019 – Denver, CO
Hive Digital Minds – Creators of SchoolBzz Named Hot Startup to Watch by Built in Colorado
February 2019 - Read Article
SchoolBzz Takes Second Place in AWS EdStart Pitch Competition
October 2018 – Boston, MA
SchoolBzz Mobile App Release
Summer 2018 – SchoolBzz releases mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
Hive Digital Minds – Creators of SchoolBzz Joins Amazon Web Services EdStart Accelerator Program
August 2018 - AWS EdStart, the AWS educational technology (EdTech) startup accelerator, aims to help entrepreneurs build the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions in the AWS Cloud. The program is designed to enable EdTech startups to move faster with specially tailored benefits.
Hive Digital Minds – Creators of SchoolBzz Selected for Colorado Solutions Summit
October 2017 - Hosted by the University of Denver’s Project X-ITE, in partnership with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, this event provided a unique opportunity to gain insights on our vision and product strategy from a diverse group of experts committed to supporting companies which have a significant impact in Colorado and beyond. We want to thank everyone who collaborated with us!
SchoolBzz Launches Pilot Program – Year 2
August 2017 - As we enter the 2017-2018 school year, SchoolBzz kicks off a second year of its pilot program with 3 Colorado charter schools SkyView Academy, North Star Academy and Parker Performing Arts. The pilot program is intended to further evaluate the needs of parents, teachers and school leaders and the benefits of implementing a school-wide communication solution.
Colorado Department of Education Annual Bootcamp
April 2017 – Denver, CO. Sharing student recruitment strategies with this new group of school founders.
Colorado League of Charter School’s Annual Conference
March 2017 – SchoolBzz demonstration (our first opportunity!) and success stories from our professional services team.
SchoolBzz Pilot Program – Year 1
August 2016 - It took two years of research and development to develop a minimum viable product we could confidently test at our first school. A shout out to Colorado charter school, SkyView Academy for being our first customer and providing invaluable feedback from teachers, parents and school leaders which continues to drive much of our SchoolBzz product strategy today.