12 Dec Parents as Partners for Successful School Communication
Keeping up with school-to-parent communication can be a challenge. Between school events, after-school programs, conferences, and day-to-day activity, school staff can often find it hard to keep up with sharing messages with families. However, communication with families is a huge part of a successful culture and parent satisfaction, so figuring out how to prioritize it with your available resources is worth the effort. Regardless of your school’s population and socioeconomic level, every school has parents who genuinely want to become involved and help in some way. When school leaders spend a bit of time and effort to create a streamlined communication plan, parents can be some of your best assets when it comes to executing that plan.
At School Deets, we pride ourselves in providing an effective tool for helping to solve communication challenges, but sometimes your school simply needs more manpower to keep up with communication needs. If your school hasn’t already done so, take a look at your parent community and ask yourself whether you’re effectively using these potential talent pools:
The Ready and Willing Parent – It’s widely known that the most common reason people don’t volunteer for something is because they haven’t been asked. Your school likely has at least one, and probably many parents who are actively seeking to become more involved at the school. It can prove very worthwhile to spend some time training a parent volunteer to work within a digital platform like School Deets. Whether they act as a sub-admin or a contributor, a parent volunteer can an act as a communications point person and a collector of information to send out in an organized and digestible way.
The Parent Expert – You may very well already have one or more marketing or communications experts within your parent community who need very little training or direction to be effective communication leaders. Providing that person access to a School Deets role can go a long way if they’re brought into the overall communication plan. Parent experts can also come in the form of translators. School Deets provides the unique advantage of communicating to families in almost any language. Parents who speak those languages are often happy to take on the task of translating messages in order to make sure their respective communities are getting the information they need.
Parent/Community Liaison – Many schools have a dedicated staff person for interacting with parents and families as well as outside community partners. This staff person may be an excellent candidate to delegate certain communication tasks to, particularly if he or she is bilingual. A school leadership team can greatly benefit from sitting down at the beginning of the school year or semester with this person and creating a plan. A staff person in this role may also be able to organize a small team of parent volunteers to help with additional tasks.
The PTA/PTO – If you have an organized parent group at your school, chances are they’re already working on communications and may have some great systems in place. With an existing group of motivated volunteers, they likely have some skills in creating content, utilizing social media, and organizing communication through room parents. Partnering with a PTA or PTO can be incredibly effective, but be sure that any joint efforts include the voice of the school rather than just the voice of the parent group. This ensures that you’re being inclusive of the entire school community.
There is a clear connection between consistent communication, parent satisfaction, and a positive school climate and culture. School Deets provides an effective platform to streamline school communication in a way that principals, staff, coaches, and parents can all participate. Schools that receive parent volunteers with open arms and help direct them towards tasks and goals — like those related to communication— can benefit in many ways