Does Anyone Read your School Newsletter?
Newsletters are a great way to get information out to parents and update them on what is happening in your school. They’ve been a staple part of many organisations over the years but they do take a lot of time to create, including printing out copies and making sure they get out to parents.
Some schools will produce paper copies of their newsletters and get pupils to take them home. Others are beginning to make them available online so parents can access information digitally. That still doesn’t guarantee that your messages are getting to the people who matter.
Change Your Newsletter to a Blog
Putting together a newsletter can be a big undertaking, especially when your staff are busy with everything else. Many schools nowadays are switching from that to producing their own blog – something that can easily be updated as and when you need it. The added advantage of a blog over a newsletter is that you don’t have to worry about filling up a specific space such as two sides of A4 once or twice a term. You can upload short and long articles depending on the information you need to share. What’s more you don’t have to do it a specific time.
Use a School App to Send Notifications
That still, of course, doesn’t guarantee that parents will read your posts. You can put in a facility on your site for parents to sign up to your posts but it does depend on them actively putting in their details in the first place. What many schools are finding works much better is if they combine their newsletter/blog with a dedicated school app.
These are designed to be downloaded onto smartphones and tablets and work in much the same as many popular apps you can get nowadays. You can send notifications with links to parents so that they c simply click on it and go through to your newsletter or blog post. You can also, if you want, tailor content for specific parents. Let’s say you want to inform a certain year about an upcoming event but don’t want to send a message out to all parents. After all, for most it’s not going to be relevant information. A school app allows you to do this.
Communicating in this way will greatly increase engagement between your school and parents with more likelihood that your messages or information will be seen and acted upon. Working in this way will also significantly reduce the amount of time you and your admin staff spend on disseminating important information. You don’t have to print out newsletters and posts can be uploaded and a notification sent out with a few clicks of a mouse button.
Schools that are now using technology to improve their communication with parents are finding new and exciting ways to use their school apps. Parents love them too because they get relevant notifications sent direct to their smartphones and tablets rather than having to search for things on a school website or phone up the admin office. There are certainly plenty of ways that an app can enhance not only your newsletter delivery but all types of engagement with staff, parents and pupils.