Determining Your Baseline With School Communication 

02/06/19 03:10 PM Comment(s)

Examine your school’s current practices in order to decide how to move forward and improve systems.

Mid-school year can be a great time to evaluate your school communication practices, as planning for the next school year is typically already happening. Budgets are being built, class size projections are being made, and teachers are evaluating their current instructional strategies.

As your team examines all aspects of your school, don’t forget to take a critical look at your school communication practices. By now, you’ve had a chance to see how successful attendance has been at your family and community events. You may have received parent feedback or even requests regarding communication methods. Take what has gone well and consider formalizing it for next school year. For communication that hasn’t gone so well, see if you can identify tangible solutions for moving forward.

School Deets offers tools to begin conducting a simple internal audit (these tools are available in our premium content library). We recommend sitting down with the person or the team who oversees school communication to examine the following: 

Who are all the stakeholders in the school who communicate to parents and families? Think broadly - besides classroom teachers, you may have coaches, after school programs, a PTA, parent liaisons, and more who all send some kind of communication home. Are these stakeholders each operating on their own, or is there some sort of system to streamline this communication? (Read more here about the many benefits of taking time to streamline your communication systems).

What methods are being utilized for communication? Are the needs of all parents being taken into account with these methods? List all the ways you push out information to your community - you might use paper letters, texting, social media, phone calls home. Are there multiple languages to consider with your school population, and if so, do you have a way of translating into those languages?

What is your communication content? Examine everything that is sent home - it may be about community events, homework, volunteer opportunities, sports schedules, and more. When you compare the content list to the methods of communication and who is responsible for sending it out, do the roles and responsibilities appear balanced?

Having this conversation mid-year will put your school team ahead of the game for the following school year; it gives you the opportunity to plan for summer communication, registration, and to be prepared with a plan when the year starts. Even if you think that your school has a solid communication plan, take a look at whether all families truly have access to all the information they need, and ask yourself if your team has done everything you can to remove potential barriers like translation needs. Chances are that there is room to grow and improve, and efforts to do so will be appreciated by parents. If you still don’t know where to start with your school’s communication plan or need assistance in creating one, reach out to us for support. 

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