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Back-to-School Communications: Keeping Caregivers in the Know

Back-to-School Communications: Keeping Caregivers in the Know

We are on the cusp of the new school year just as COVID numbers are once again rising in our state. This inevitably brings uncertainty and fear for both school staff and caregivers. It also means keeping all stakeholders informed on the most up-to-date information and school policies will be crucial. The question is: how will you communicate that information? These days, so many tools abound that you can use to quickly spread information. Will you use the tried-and-true methods, will you venture out and try new tools or will you stick with ones you prefer?

Whatever your choice, you should consider surveying your community first to make sure you use the tools they're already using. For example, you may love Facebook, but if your families don't use it, you'll be wasting valuable time populating a site they aren't reading.

So what are some other great tools you could be using to creatively reach your parents and guardians?

  • Virtual meetings: Who isn't on Google or Zoom these days? Virtual meetings have become ubiquitous throughout the COVID pandemic, and they are essential tools to communicate with others when you can't meet in person. Further, caregivers are busy as well, and many just don't have the time to make it up to the school for meetings. So why not schedule virtual meetings with Google Hangouts or Zoom? Virtual meetings are more personal than a phone call or a text, plus you can connect using any device.
  • 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. There are other messenger systems as well, so let us know, and we can help you find one that fits your needs.
  • ParentSquare: This app aims to improve communication, organization and engagement between families and schools. Caregivers 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 internet, 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.
  • ClassTag: This communication app is completely free to use. It offers newsletters, translation capabilities, engagement tracking and easy photo sharing. But it also provides calendar support, supply lists and lots of ways to reach families: texts, email, in app, on your website—they choose what works best for them. You can also earn free classroom rewards simply by doing the things you already do, like posting about a classroom project or letting parents know about upcoming conferences. You’ll earn ClassTag coins as you engage families, which you can then redeem for things like gift cards, school supplies, board games and more.

Whatever platforms you choose to use--whether it's those listed above or communicating through a basic website, on one or more social media platforms or any other tools, don't feel like you have to use them all. It's more important you choose ones you are comfortable with and ones your families use. Then use them consistently.

We don't know for certain what the start of school will look like this year, but we can help lessen the stress for staff and families by making sure we keep everyone in the loop. Accurate, timely communication can go a long way to building trust, showing transparency and creating bonds so no one feels alone.

Please let me know if you have questions about a certain communication tool or need assistance. We will be with you every step of the way.

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