As we take a look at what’s new in area school districts this year, Pocono Mountain is focusing on parent-teacher communication, especially when it comes to its elementary students. News13’S Nicole Walters shares how technology is helping to make that connection in this report.

School is back in session for teachers at Swiftwater Elementary Center. They’re busy putting the finishing touches on their classrooms today to welcome students back on Monday. And we’re told there’s going to be a lot more new faces than in years past.

Swiftwater Elementary Center Reading Specialist Melissa Hoban says, "So we not only have the returning students from Kindergarten through third grade, but we also have a lot of new students coming in, coming back from cyber schools and coming from other schools as well.  So it’s super exciting."

They’re gaining about 100 new kids, making their enrollment close to one thousand.

Hoban says, "Let’s say a kindergartener comes in and needs to know their letters, then we meet them where they’re at. If there’s a kindergartener coming in that already knows how to read, then we meet them where they’re at as well."

Teachers are student focused and we’re told the best thing you can do for your child to be successful is to be involved.

Hoban says, "Talking about school, keeping in touch with the parents and the teachers together and really reading, and just being interested in what’s going on in their day."

Teachers want parents to know communication is key. The app Class Dojo was introduced last year but this year they’re looking to connect with parents at least once a week.

Swiftwater Elementary Center 3rd Grade ELA/ Social Studies Teacher Tricia Latanzio says, "It’s important for parents to always see that students are doing the right thing and when students are not always doing what they’re supposed to, but keeping that open line of communication with parents."

Class Dojo allows teachers to set goals for students. They get points for things they do right and are notified when they’re doing something wrong. The points then turn into rewards.

Latanzio says, "With parents, they’re able to always see that so they can have an app on their phone. It dings right to their phone and they can see when their student is doing something right and we are able to talk to those parents right through the messaging all of the time."

We’re told parents should always reach out to teachers whenever they have a concern through email or the app. It doesn’t matter when, teachers at Swifter Elementary Center will get back to them when they are able.