SimplyCircle is an online parent communication and engagement platform for K-12 schools. Teachers, PTA leaders and principals use this platform to inform and engage parents at their school. They send announcements and newsletters; invite parents to school events, request volunteer signups, share photos, and exchange private messages. All information stays secure within the private “circle” that they had created for their class or school. Parents can access the information via emails, web, or through their free mobile apps.
Fascinating Journey of SimplyCircle
Research clearly shows that increased parental engagement has a profound positive impact on student achievement. Parental involvement benefits all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background, but is particularly powerful in lower-income schools. SimplyCircle’s mission is to help schools increase family engagement, so that every child receives the support they need and deserve.
SimplyCircle was created by parents, for parents. They recognize that modern families are incredibly busy, juggling the demands of work with family obligations. That’s why they created a platform that fits into families’ busy lives and helps parents engage with the school on their own terms.
Proud Moments of SimplyCircle
SimplyCircle has appeared on ABC News and KRON News, and has been profiled by
Scholastic, National PTA, and PTO Today. But what they are most proud of is their customers’ feedback and testimonials.
“Simply Circle has been the perfect online tool for Monta Loma Elementary School. From teacher classroom communication to PTA recruitment, it has helped us engage more of our community and increase our volunteer participation. Thank you to Elena and her team for their constant support!” Elizabeth Jones, Monta Loma PTA Activities Chair and Parent
“SimplyCircle helps improve parent engagement by keeping our school community well-informed, and by keeping parents engaged and connected with other families.” Jenay Enna
Principal, Sakamoto Elementary
“SimplyCircle is a quick, convenient way to communicate with all my students’ parents. I can send quick reminders, weekly newsletters, and pictures, plus I’m saving trees and time!” Leah Mitchell Teacher, Narragansett Elementary School
“SimplyCircle has everything my PTA needs to engage with members. The clean, simple design combined with the ability to push-and-pull information is exactly what we were looking for.” Jill Shaul Georgetown PTA
Leaders of SimplyCircle
Elena Krasnoperov, Founder & CEO of SimplyCircle is a startup founder and advisor. She founded SimplyCircle, a software-as-a-service platform that streamlines communications between schools and families, and Calroo, a mobile app that helps parents coordinate their family schedules with each other. Elena is a limited partner in 500 Startups, a popular startup incubator/accelerator, and a mentor and advisor to numerous startups, particularly those led by female founders. Prior to starting her entrepreneurial journey, Elena was an executive at global technology companies, including eBay, PayPal, Zong (acquired by PayPal for $240M) and oDesk (now Upwork). Elena holds a BA in Psychology, summa cum laude, from Wellesley College, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. In addition to working on technology solutions that improve lives for millions of parents, Elena is passionate about empowering women in technology, adventuring with her husband and two children, and teaching Zumba.
SimplyCircle was inspired by her desire to be a good Mom for her two fabulous kids.
She was having a hard time keeping track of everything that was going on at her kids’ school. The school was communicating with them mostly by email. Even though Elena spent hours pouring over the school emails, and copying and pasting relevant events into her calendar, she still missed important events, like the parent-teacher conference that she signed up for at the beginning of the school year, or the minimum day that was mentioned at the bottom of a 4-page long email newsletter. Every time she forgot something, she felt like a bad Mom.
After talking to hundreds of teachers and principals, Elena learned that they too had a problem. They knew that it was important to inform and engage families – research shows that family engagement is one of the best predictors of student performance – but they lacked good tools. They were spending countless hours writing emails and paper flyers, but feeling like their communication was going into a “black hole”, with no response or engagement.
That is how SimplyCircle was born. Everything that she learned as a Stanford Ph.D. in Psychology, and as a former strategy consultant with BCG and then an executive with eBay, PayPal, Zong and oDesk, and everything she learn in her daily life as a working Mom, Elena brought to SimplyCircle.
Major Challenges faced by the Company who also benefited their Clients during the Business days
The clients that they serve are educators and school administrators, and their business is teaching our kids. They help them by providing a useful service that helps them engage parents, which in turn helps their students.
The main challenge they’ve had since creating the company 4 years ago has been growing the business without any external investment. In 2017, they had such a successful back-to-school season, with many new schools adopting their solution that it led to new challenges, requiring them to significantly upgrade their platform to keep up with dramatically increased demand. They’ve now completed their system upgrades, and are poised to continue their rapid growth in 2018 and beyond.
Future Lane of SimplyCirlce
Their mission is to empower educators all across the US, and ultimately globally, to engage parents as partners in their children’s education. They’re just at the beginning of their journey, and are very excited about the future.