Congrats! It is officially the home stretch of this school year! In the next few weeks, your communication with parents will likely be at an all-time high for the school year. Staying organized and thinking through your communication strategy will help your parents and, in turn, help you! Summer is just around the corner…you’ve got this!
1. Send home a Monday newsletter
Even if this isn’t a tool you’ve used thus far this year, it is perfectly acceptable and beneficial to adopt for these final weeks! The end of the year can be chaotic with end-of-the-year activities, summative assessments, and cleaning out the classroom. A weekly newsletter will help clearly organize the upcoming week for parents, without feeling too overwhelmed. In Snap! Connect, simply post a Monday newsletter as a news item and send it to the group or groups that need the information. Parents will appreciate the predictability of your communication as school comes to a close.
2. Communicate a “heads up” for items being sent home with students
Don’t want your permission slip to get caught up with the many fliers being sent home by school and community organizations? Backpack stuffers can end up in a black hole! It can be extremely helpful to let parents know what they should be looking out for in (a.k.a. digging out of) their child’s backpack, especially during this time of year when so much is being sent home!
3. Be organized
With so much communication coming home from school, it can be easy for parents to quickly hit delete on an email! Streamline communication by organizing important information into a single news item on SchoolCNXT. Consider using forward publishing to stagger the news you are posting. Another helpful feature is reminders! If you post about a field day happening in two weeks, you can set a reminder for two days before the big day reminding parents to send their kids in appropriate clothes. Adding a reminder to a post is easy and this way you won’t need to remember to post again as an event or deadline approaches.
4. Clearly articulate what is needed from parents with clear deadlines
Help parents know what you are asking of them by making your “ask” very clear! If parents are skimming information, possibly for multiple children, it can be easy for them to miss what it is that they need to do. If you need all textbooks returned by Friday, post news telling parents to remind their kids a few days before. The clearer you can make this request along with the deadline by which you need it, the more likely you are to be successful in your request!
5. Follow up with specific parents as needed
Inevitably, even with clear requests and well-organized communication, there may be an additional follow-up or child-specific information required for some parents. Instead of sending out communication to all parents, send a message only to those parents for whom you need to send additional information, a reminder, or clarification. For example, send a parent a message letting them know about a make-up opportunity you have discussed with their child. The Snap! Connect mobile app makes sending messages to parents simple and with the two-way translation, you’ll be able to communicate with all parents regardless of the language they speak at home. If you have only been using the web browser version of Snap! Connect, this is a great time to download the app from the App Store or Google Play.
Lisa Kehoe, SchoolCNXT (Now Snap! Connect) Editorial Team and former teacher