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Providence Public Schools District

What started as a school pilot turned into a district-wide implementation with meaningful results
reduction in 360 High School's chronic absence rate
reduction in Del Sesto Middle School's chronic absence rate
messages exchanged via KiNVO

Providence Public Schools, Rhode Island’s largest school system, serves approximately twenty-four thousand students.

In Spring 2018, Providence Public Schools launched a seven-school pilot with Kinvolved™, the social enterprise boosting student attendance and tackling chronic absenteeism through software and community engagement services.

Providence teams up with Kinvolved to launch KiNVO software and professional services

Providence’s pilot objectives were to train school leaders on KiNVO functionality, collaborate on the following school year’s rollout plan, and measure the pilot term’s impact.

KiNVO is a powerful, user-friendly attendance and communications app that gives school staff, students, and families real-time data that highlights attendance patterns, building bridges for parents who are hard to reach due to irregular schedules, work commitments, or language barriers.

External research, combined with our own work in the field, has shown that an investment in strategic family engagement yields significant attendance improvement. Through ongoing school-level coaching on KiNVO and its accompanying “Intention, Empathy, and Engagement” family partnership curriculum, the Kinvolved team ensured that the process was approachable and realistic for Providence schools.

Over the course of the semester-long pilot, Kinvolved’s professional services team convened implementation and policy strategy sessions with key district and school leadership, developing critical relationships and ensuring that the partnership rollout accommodated the district’s culture and community. The team also led sessions on building empathy with families, using KiNVO effectively during attendance team meetings, and initiating open-ended conversations with students to understand the “why” behind absenteeism and lateness.

KiNVO use across pilot schools was intentional, and school leaders followed tailored protocols every week. Kinvolved worked with district leadership to develop and provide school leaders with weekly messaging templates about attendance tips for parents. Further, leaders were guided through how to focus on a target group of students’ families whose children were on the brink of being chronically absent.


In May 2018, concluding a three-month, mid-year pilot:

  • School leaders and families exchanged more than fourteen thousand messages via KiNVO
  • Four pilot schools reduced chronic
    absence rates
  • All forty Providence schools opted to adopt KiNVO for the 2018–2019 school year

Providence district leaders rightfully believe that school-level buy-in is critical to success. At the conclusion of the pilot, the district offered all forty schools the option to participate in the Kinvolved partnership and KiNVO rollout, and 100 percent opted in.

Ranging from kindergarten through twelfth grade, every school now uses KiNVO to enable real-time, two-way communication with families.

Lessons learned

To truly engage families, schools must meet students and parents where they are and show empathy toward their circumstances. Texting is a quick and easy way to share important information about attendance, school events, and behavior, and KiNVO is the best tool for the job.

  • Parents show gratitude when they receive messages in their preferred language, so
  • KiNVO enables two-way translation into sixty-five languages.
  • Treating parents as partners by using KiNVO reinforces positivity and shared accountability, expressing this intention from the very first message.
  • By removing barriers, KiNVO offers many families their first opportunity to be involved in their child’s education in real time.

Teachers, leaders, parents, and communities want to see their children succeed; in order for that to happen, children have to show up to school. That’s why the heart of every KiNVO interaction is a desire to get every student to every class, every day.

"Providence Public School District is committed to elevating family voice across our schools, because it’s important that every family feels engaged and empowered. We know that by strengthening family relationships, we can move the needle on student outcomes. KiNVO has changed the game with our family outreach efforts, and we have seen real growth in our student attendance”

Christopher Maher
Former Superintendent
Providence Public School District

Download the full case study

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