How K-12 Schools Would Can Use Schedule Utopia
This is instrumental in being able to speed up the communication process and eliminate phone trees. You post it, and everyone who follows gets notified by their preferred method. We encourage you to figure out how to best use it for your school, district, and programs, but be specific not general – we call get “mass communication” now with things we don’t care about. Here are a few suggestions:
- Teachers - you can post homework, news, activities, parties, etc, and make it your master class schedule
- Principals/Administration - you can have a school news calendar for fundraisers and events, notify for buses running late, cancellation, emergencies, early dismissals, etc. You could also have a private calendar just for staff. Remember this can go right to their mobile phone, not just email.
- Athletics - you can schedule games, practices, fields, etc and if something changes you now have means to instantly communicate with your players, families and community. You can even link to map locations, making it easy to find addresses and use from mobile phones
- Bands - you can schedule practices, games, competitions, concerts, fundraisers, events. When coming back from an event – post ETA so parents can meet you there
- Facilities - you can schedule and manage fields, gyms, rooms, meetings, volunteers
- Transportation - you can create a master calendar or one for each bus. Parents follow the appropriate calendar so they know if a bus is running late, if there is a delay for weather, if they should bring them to school because a bus is not running, or if there are any early dismissals
- PTO/PTC/PTA - you can post events, ask for volunteers, schedule your meetings and locations
- Extra-Curricular / Clubs - Schedules for Odyssey of the Mind, Science Olympiad, Yearbook, Chess Club, Robotics Club, Debate, Scouting
- General - this can be district wide events, per school, team, activity
There are also plenty of other ways for people to use and benefit from Schedule Utopia for recreational/community sports, (adult and youth) churches, families, retail businesses, restaurants, and many more.
Best of all, you don’t have to maintain any contact information – users do that themselves. Schedule Utopia is 100% free and the moment you change something, Followers get notified how they choose, by their preferred means of communication. The application also tells you how many followers your calendar has (due to privacy laws, we don’t share who).
Some basic set up instructions:
Set up your school(s) as an organization(s) in the system. Please make sure you have the proper permission to be the administrator for your school(s), or invite a person to administrate these organizations once you have created them. You might need to invite people from certain school departments to manage some of the calendars you will set up.
Set up the calendars for each type of department or program that you have. This can be for sports teams, arts programs, room scheduling, fundraisers, news, transportation, volunteers, PTO/PTC/PTA, teachers, administrators, etc. You can then invite people to see this calendar and follow it. (This can be done directly through Schedule Utopia or shared to Facebook or Twitter.) You can invite certain people to administrate a calendar. The internal calendars can be made private and can only be viewed by those that you invite.
If the person you invited already has an account, they can just login and “follow” any of the calendars that are public or that you invite them to. If they don’t have an account already, they will need to set up an account before they can follow a calendar or manage one. Each person can then begin adding their own activities, events and information to their calendar. Administrators can add information to the school calendars that they manage and these changes or updates would be viewable to all followers of those calendars.
It would be a good idea to embed any public calendars right on to your website for viewing – this is easily done and most webmasters or content systems will allow you to copy and paste the code you need to do this. This is the only set of calendars you really need to have. The organization calendar will compile all calendars onto the overview in the system so you can view it holistically in the system.
It’s also a good idea to add a “news” or “events” type of calendar for activities that apply to everyone – for example; important information that needs immediate attention (like a cancellation) or any news that call for notifications to be sent out immediately. If someone follows this “news” calendar, they will automatically get notified via their preferred method when information is added.
You can now easily manage all of your volunteers, staff, teachers, organizations, events, teams, room scheduling, fields, etc, all in one place. It would be a good idea to tell people to get the unlimited texting (SMS) plan on their cell phones if they want to receive the text updates. (Once the mobile app cue is available, those with smart phones won’t need the texts). The text cost is the only cost for this – otherwise it is 100% free.
NOTE: Please do not set up calendars for any students under the age of 13 and if you do for any that re other than 13, make sure you you make their calendars “private”.
COMING SOON: We are working on ical syncing and Outlook syncing. We are also working on creating private events (we already have private calendars) so an entry could be private (i.e. for staff only). You can see all the features in development here.