At a Glance
The Pittsburgh Public School District is the second-largest in Pennsylvania. The District’s 54 schools serve 20,080 Pre-K through 12th grade students; 95% qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program. Families in the district speak 95 home languages and hail from 57 countries.
Reaching families was urgent during the pandemic and remains a crucial priority
When the pandemic began, the district needed to reach families urgently to distribute tech to 20k+ students. The tools they’d relied on before – backpacks, phone calls, after school meetings – no longer worked. They knew texting would be crucial as a fast way to reach families on their most-used device: their mobile phone, and were successful in using TalkingPoints to connect with families during distance learning.
Post-pandemic engagement and access for all families remains a priority. However, for families who don’t speak English or read in their home language, paying to translate materials doesn’t help.
TalkingPoints removes barriers to engaging district families
Pittsburgh Public Schools uses TalkingPoints’ two-way, instant translated text messages in 145+ languages for real-time communication with all families. TalkingPoints is the only platform with the highest-quality translation for K12 schools, contextualized for education, with human translation and machine learning/AI.
TalkingPoints’ videos with translated captions feature helps Pittsburg Public Schools staff support non-English-speaking families and those with low literacy levels.
Beyond the pandemic: Thriving – and increasing – engagement with families
District teachers love that TalkingPoints is so easy to use, and that rostering is done for them so it’s quick to get started. Principals, too, have really embraced TalkingPoints and want to collaborate on sequencing messages and communications from the school and the district. And TalkingPoints use by staff and families has grown steadily since the pandemic: By March 2023, staff and families had exchanged 2.7 million messages, an 80% increase over the same period the prior year!