The Parent Portal was launched as part of Bark's mission to keep kids safe online 24/7. We wanted to make sure that alerts were not missed during times when school administration may not be as available as during school hours, which is why we strongly recommend inviting parents and families in helping schools during these times.
What is the Parent Portal?
The Bark for Schools Parent Portal is a free and complementary feature of the Bark for Schools monitoring service. It unites schools with families to pick up alerts after hours, during weekends, and over school vacations. Families use bark.us on any device, or the Bark for Families app on Android or iOS to view their alerts.
Why is the Parent Portal important?
The Parent Portal allows schools to enlist the support of parents and guardians to receive alerts about their children after hours and during breaks. As you know, online activity doesn't stop when the bell rings. Administrators can't be available 24/7/365 to respond to severe alerts, which is why we feel the school/family/community partnership is so essential. Enabling the Parent Portal is a positive step toward more comprehensive monitoring to keep students safer online.
Why does Bark believe the Parent Portal is essential?
Bark’s mission is to protect as many children as possible on their devices and accounts. Uniting with your parents greatly reduces the chance that a serious threat could slip through the cracks.
Is this for every student in my school/district?
Not in every case. Though many schools/districts have enabled the Parent Portal for all of their students and families, some administrators have enabled the system only for children they may be most concerned about or who are considered high risk. Often, these parents are already part of a broader discussion with your extended team. Check out our guide for tips on setting up a pilot test of Parent Portal.
Are you going to spam/sell to parents?
No. While there is a clear upgrade path to our Bark for Families product if a parent is concerned enough about their child's online experience, Bark will not spam parents with emails. Parent Portal is here as another free safety net for your school or district. If you are concerned about a student’s behavior on your school-provided accounts, you may wish to suggest they upgrade to the expanded coverage.
For more information on Bark for Families, we have created this helpful video for you:
How do I set up Parent Portal?
We also recommend you take a look at our Best Practices document.
How do I adjust the alerts parents receive?
Parents can receive alerts “Anytime,” which is the same frequency as schools, or you can select that they only receive alerts “After Hours,” which is 3 p.m. to 8 a.m. each day. This includes weekends, so please note that we suggest setting the Parent Portal to “Anytime.”
What does a parent see in an alert?
Bark alerts let parents know why the online activity was flagged (depression, sexual content, cyberbullying, etc.) and include a “snippet,” which is a concise view of why Bark flagged this particular item, along with where it originated (Gmail, Google Drive, etc).
We also include a link to helpful tips on how parents can talk to their child about the alerts. Parents and guardians can only view alerts for their child. We take data security very seriously and want to protect each child’s information. The only time a parent would see another child’s name is if it was included in the message that is flagged, as in “Jessica said…”
Does Bark offer support to parents?
We also have the following resources available for parents:
If parents are separated, can Bark alert both parties?
If a parent loses custody or we would proactively like to remove access to alerts for our own reasons, can we do that?
Our team is ready to help with any adjustments an account may require. Please reach out to us and the account will be disconnected.
How do I reach the Bark for Schools team?
We have an incredible team behind the scenes here at Bark. For questions, we can be reached here.