Parent-School Communication based on text messages (SMS)

Last registered on December 14, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Parent-School Communication based on text messages (SMS)
Initial registration date
August 06, 2014

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
August 06, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
December 14, 2023, 1:59 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


Primary Investigator

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
Dartmouth College

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
High rates of absenteeism, grade repetition and poor grades continue to undermine educational investments for children from lower income families in Chile. As a result, despite massive increases in access to high school and post-secondary education in the last two decades, there is still tremendous educational inequality in this country. One problem is that although attendance and performance in lower grades is highly predictive of grade repetition and drop out in later grades, parents may not always be aware of this link. Moreover, we have seen in prior work that parents may not always have the correct information about child behaviors in school. This project targets two aspects of parental involvement with the school system: information and skills. We designed an experiment to randomly provide parents with regular information about children’s activities and behavior at school, using text messages. After some time using this SMS program, we treat a subset of these parents with a complementary investment that informs them how to use these markers (attendance, grades, behavior) to monitor and guide their children towards improved investments in school.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Berlinski, Samuel et al. 2023. "Parent-School Communication based on text messages (SMS)." AEA RCT Registry. December 14.
Former Citation
Berlinski, Samuel et al. 2023. "Parent-School Communication based on text messages (SMS)." AEA RCT Registry. December 14.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Main outcomes include: Grades, Attendance, Behavior, Dropout
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The intervention will take place in public schools in a municipality of Santiago. Regular text messages will be sent to parents of students from 4th to 8th grade with information on Attendance, Grades and Behavior. Data for these messages will be collected from schools by our enumerators. Control SMS messages will be sent to all participants, with general information about school events.

After an initial period of treatment, a subset of treatment group parents will be randomly offered a complementary investment (a DVD program). This program will provide new parental management tools aimed at better use of the school information delivered via text messaging. The complementary investment will be designed in consultation with educational psychologists, building on their best practice tools for encouraging parental involvement in low-income communities.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computerized (STATA programming)
Randomization Unit
Class and Individual (by students)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not applicable
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,600 parents and caregivers (approx.)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1,300 parents (approx.) in each group, treatment and control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects (COHUES). Massachusetts Institute of Technology
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials