By Jennie Wong
The Charlotte Observer.
This week’s “Ask the Mompreneur” features an interview with Elena Krasnoperova, creator of an innovative new online tool for parent-teacher communication, www.SchoolCircle.com.
Q: When did you realize that communication between teachers and parents was a problem that needed fixing?
A: When my older son (now in third grade) started kindergarten, I began receiving lots of communication from his school, and it only got worse when my younger son also started kindergarten. Most of the information was coming by email, some by paper. (And if you have boys, you know that paper either doesn’t make it home at all, or gets turned into a paper airplane within minutes.)
While I loved learning what my sons were up to at school, I often felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information I was receiving, and by the manual work that I needed to do to keep track of it all. I would read every email, find the relevant info, copy and paste it into my calendar or to-do list, and try to remember everything I was supposed to do.
Despite spending countless hours every week copying and pasting and reading reply-all email threads, I would miss something important, like bringing flowers to the school open house, or forgetting to arrange to have my kid picked up early on (a short-schedule) day. And every time that happened, I felt like the worst mother on the planet.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for SchoolCircle? From where did you draw inspiration for your solution design?
A: The idea for SchoolCircle came from my experience as a working mom with two kids, and from conversations with other parents who were struggling with the same thing. When I forgot about the flowers for the open house (not a big deal, you might say, but you didn’t see my sons’ disappointed faces), I resolved to find a solution for it.