Welcome back! I hope you have had time to rejuvenate and get revved up for the second half of the school year. You may have also had time to reflect on changes you would like to make or things upon which you would like to improve, and parent communication and engagement may be one of those. Now is the perfect time to re-engage your parents and keep them active and informed of the goings-on in your schools, and there are many ways to do this. Below are just a few, but if you have a particularly successful method you would like to share with others, please contact me, and I'll make sure to publish in an upcoming newsletter. I hope these options help, and if you need any assistance implementing them, just holler!
ParentSquare: This app aims to improve communication, organization, and engagement between parents and schools. Parents can access posts, events, photos, files, and a directory on the site. School administrators and teachers can post polls and use two-way messaging via the Web, email, and text messages. For a fee, users can send voice messages via text to parents. In the posts, administrators can see how many parents viewed the post, ask for items, request volunteers, get RSVPs, or even fundraise. Events are integrated right into the school calendar.
School Messenger: This resource combines school notification, mobile apps, and web content management all under one, easy-to-use platform. Designed to work together from the start, this school communication systems save time and provide more immediate, thorough engagement with your community.
SchoolWay: This resource is a faster, more reliable messaging option for safe, one-way school communication on mobile devices. Best of all, it’s FREE and very easy to use and manage.
Newsletters: These can be a great way to keep parents updated through email on upcoming events, celebrations, providing teacher spotlights, and any other bit of information you feel is valuable to your parents. There are many different tools you can use to create e-newsletters that are free or have minimal costs, including MailChimp (used to create this newsletter), Constant Contact, and others.
Social Media: If you aren't already using some form of social media, you are missing out on an extremely powerful and easy method to reach your parents and keep them informed. These no-cost resources allow you to connect immediately with parents and community members, but they also allow you to identify and control messaging for your schools. The most commonly-used social media outlets for education tend to be Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but there are others that can be beneficial.