We’ve created a worksheet to help you gather and evaluate the effectiveness of all of the ways you communicate with families when they aren’t in the building!
From managing student information through apps and emailing newsletters to printing flyers and texting or calling, schools have a myriad of physical and digital communication tools at their disposal. From a family member’s perspective, the various avenues of communication can seem overwhelming. And from an administrator’s viewpoint, managing what app is used when and coordinating how often staff and teachers reach out to families can be just as daunting.
Start your Communication Tool Roundup today!
Use this worksheet to record the details about all of the tools you and your teachers currently use to communicate with families.
Click the image or this link to create your own Communication Tool Roundup. Once you open the document, make your own editable copy by selecting File > Make a Copy.
Note: Starting on page 2 of the worksheet, we’ve filled out a sample table with examples of different tools your school might use. This list is not exhaustive and includes fictitious names of products!
Next, use the information you gather to analyze your family communication strategy. Ask yourself questions such as the following:
- What do new families need to know?
- What can you streamline for returning families?
- What is the same as last year, and what is different or new?
- How often will family members hear from the school?
- How often is your communication general, such as information about upcoming events?
- How often is your communication specific and positive for the individual child?
- What communications are families getting from the district or network and how often?
Think through your tools from a family member’s point of view. If they think they get too many messages from school, is there a way to pare down what they receive to get only the essential information? If they want more information, are there ways for you to leverage the tools to give them more insight into their student’s daily experiences?
Finally, if you complete this exercise at the beginning of the year, how can you communicate to families about what and when to expect to hear from you?
If you complete this exercise as the school year is already in progress, is there anything you think you should change for next year? Is there anything that you would like to change now to make communication easier for teachers and staff and more engaging for families?