Communicating with parents is part and parcel of school life. Families want to be in the know about their child’s education. But in the last few years, the combination of hectic modern lifestyles and the school morning rush has given them the impression that it’s impossible to keep up with what’s happening in the classroom.
1. Email newsletters
We’ll begin with an easy one: newsletters. Historically, these would be physical printed newsletters distributed directly to pupils, in the hopes that at least some copies would make their way home.
Blogs are no longer regarded as cutting-edge, but a useful resource for any school. A good blog invites parents to look directly into your classroom, and, if you enable commenting, you can open up a lively discussion.
Many school websites implement WordPress, the most popular blogging app, as a matter of course. WordPress is easy-to-use and tutorials are readily available on the web, but you may find that you need a hand with a very particular issue – the means by which your particular school enables multiple blogs by different teachers, classes and groups at the same site.
It’s usually easy enough when you’ve seen it done, but don’t be afraid to ask for guidance from the local expert.
3. "Broadcast" email/text
Every school administrator and teacher has information they need to share with parents, but the days of sending photocopied handouts home with the kids are long gone. Smart communicators take mid-term open evenings as an opportunity to gather contact preferences, but they take care of those updates online.
4. Social media
Schools are often reluctant to embrace the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. But regardless if your school uses these or not, it’s likely a social community or group has been set up by the parents themselves, so it’s better to embrace the technology and use it as an avenue to share daily stories and successes.
5. In person
Of course, there’s no replacement for human contact. Many schools have decided to reserve face-to-face meetings for the end of term, and instead adopt our Communications module to take care of everyday messaging.
Likewise, our Parents’ Evening module has been invaluable to schools in helping them book online teacher-parent appointments and phone calls.