Principals, teachers, and parents should all be on the same page when it comes to school communication
It’s not uncommon to see schools using multiple methods to communicate to parents: e-newsletters, paper flyers, text reminders, and so on. In recent years, it’s also become increasingly common for teachers to utilize mobile platforms to communicate directly to their classroom parents. While mobile methods are undoubtedly an effective way to reach the school community, it’s a slippery slope for inadvertently causing confusion among both parents and school staff if people are using more than one platform. When looking at all the communication platforms available for schools, it’s important that school leaders look at the advantages of streamlining their internal systems.
What are the benefits of a streamlined school communication system?
One common platform: if parents know that the school uses one mobile communication platform and can download it the moment they register their child, connecting to parents will instantly become simpler. Rather than one teacher using a mobile app they like and another teacher not using anything, all staff can be trained on the same platform and parents can expect to find the information they need in one app, whether it be a reminder for Spirit Week or a late bus update from the basketball coach.
Principal oversight: it can be challenging for school leaders who have teachers using their individual preferred methods to know what is actually being communicated. When every teacher uses a different method, it can actually clog the system and negatively impact parent expectations. Leaders who adopt a common platform will have access to information being sent out and can participate in the same system with school-wide communications. This is a big advantage to principals, as using a system that’s already organized will allow for quick and efficient communication, and parents always appreciate hearing directly from principals.
Parents know where to find what they need: school communications can be overwhelming to parents. In the span of a week, parents might receive multiple flyers in each child’s class folder, an e-newsletter, and several text reminders from the school. Streamlining a communications system helps schools decide what information can be condensed and what needs to be prioritized so that important information isn’t lost in the shuffle. Parents generally want to be part of their children’s education, and if their opportunities for involvement feel less overwhelming and more appealing and manageable, they’re more likely to have positive relationships with the school (and as we discuss here, parent satisfaction matters for school ratings).
The paper flyer still has its place in schools. Newsletters are still incredibly useful. But in the age of smartphones and fast-paced messaging, schools are poised to use mobile communication as a very effective tool for reaching their communities. Contact us if you’re looking for ideas of how to streamline your own communication plan and start reaching parents in a more effective way.