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George Pawlas's PR for PRincipals

Every school administrator is also a school public relations director. In that PR role, principals are always searching for ways to get out the good news about the activities and achievements of their teachers and students. When it comes to PR for principals, Dr. George Pawlas has written the book (see endbar). Each entry in this series by Dr. Pawlas offers quick tips for busy principals intent on improving home-school-community communication. Click any link below for fresh ideas and PR inspiration.

Create Video or DVD Recordings of the School Year
By preserving the major events or significant happenings at your school on either a

Create a Place for People in the News
At the end of the school year, these items can be added to a photo album or scrapbook

A Special Meeting for Parents New to the School
A meeting for new parents to the school, held soon after the school year begins, can be...

Make Sure the Open House Experience Is a Good One
So, what do parents expect your teachers to have done prior to the open house?

Principals, PTO Presidents Send Letters of Welcome
You can win points and potential partners with some of these ideas

Broadcast Your "Welcome Back to School" Message
The more information you get out, the smoother school opening you can expect

Home Visits Get School Year Off to a Great Start
Starting off the year with a home visit ensures the year will be a special one

Build A Wall Of Your School's History
The history of every school can be fascinating for everyone who is involved with the

Communicating Is a "Family Affair"
The message is clear: be sure your support staff is informed about important decisions

A Great Use for Old Ties
So how did those ties "tie" into our food-bank collection? We used the ties as incentives

Toy Box in the Principal's Office
When this idea was first shared with me, I didn't think it had much value, but

Recognize Your Business Partners
There are a number of things you can do to develop strong business partners

Meetings With Support Personnel Help Build Strong Teams
To be sure your school's support team knows their importance in the school's success

Are You an "Office Principal " or a "Classroom Principal"?
As a grandfather of five, I've asked each of my grandkids about their school principal

The Conference Whisperer
A former drill sergeant who was the father of a student shared an idea that has stuck with me

Spreading the News Throughout the Community
When I was a principal, I frequently stopped at the offices of doctors, dentists, real estate agents

What Makes Super Teachers Super?
Super teachers have a special ability to make all children feel their worth

Support Staff Plays Key Role in Communication Efforts
The history of every school can be fascinating for everyone who is involved with the

Putting Students' Stories About School and Home in Perspective
We must always remember that verbal young children are prone to embellish details

Create a Hall of Fame
A Hall of Fame can boost school pride as it draws a community closer together

Five Tips for Building Strong School-Community Relations
Although every school has unique PR needs, here are five suggestions that apply to all schools

Superintendent Hosts Student Press Conference
A sure-fire strategy to involve and inform students and the community is to have

The Principal as "Motivator" and "Reinforcer"
I frequently reminded teachers to use me as a "motivator" of student excellence

Staff "Family Member of the Week"
One easy way to solidify your school's support team and a build a sense of community is

Helping Single Parents Help Students Succeed
Principals and teachers often work together to help single parents and their children

Uppers for a Downer Day
How often do you receive a positive note from a "school family" member?

Use That Cell Phone to Reach Out and Touch Parents
As you visit classrooms, take along your cell phone. When you spot students doing good

Letters to the Editor Set the Record Straight
One effective strategy for getting out good news, or accurate news, is to

Students Earn Principal's "Stamp of Approval"
After everyone has left for the day, I often return to displays of student work and

Start a "Super Reader" Program
The Super Reader Program was one I used. It was a pretty simple homegrown program

Trumpet Your School's Good News
No news is bad news, so be sure to trumpet your school's good news

Is It Time for a "Principal's Office" Makeover?
See if your image is child-friendly by looking at your office space with a child's eye...

The Role of a Great Teacher
I try to find sayings that will help teachers understand the important role they play

Build Communication With Breakfast Meetings, Newsletter Q&A's
One of the best ways to build support for your school is easy to do if you ask

Pencils and "Special Pencils"
In addition to pencils purchased for sale to the students, I also bought "special pencils"

Making the Leap to e-Newsletters
Many principals offer e-versions of their newsletters to keep busy parents informed

Kid Comments Lead to Teacher Appreciation Display
One day I had an idea for a conversation starter to use as I talked with kids at lunch

Easing the Transition to a New School
Transition programs recognize that students lose significant quality instructional time

A Very Special Thank You to Parents
In my May newsletter to parents, I always included a list of "thank yous" such as

Those Amazing Teachers!
Just because it is "summer vacation" doesn't mean that teachers aren't working

End-of-Year Reminders for Parents
As the school year comes screeching to a close, you might want to remind parents to

What Parents Really Think About School Newsletters
The NSPRA says parents like five things about school newsletters

Meet Dr. George E. Pawlas

George E. Pawlas has written the book on PR for school principals -- literally! In The Administrator's Guide to School-Community Relations, Pawlas presents a treasury of practical tips and strategies for principals. The book includes hundreds of principal-tested ideas, illustrations, and templates to help you
  • create successful school newsletters and other communication tools;
  • use the media to your school's advantage;
  • enhance parent and family involvement;
  • work with the community and local businesses;
  • deal with crisis situations; and
  • much more.
Pawlas has been an educator for nearly four decades. He has served as an elementary school teacher and principal, a district administrator, and a state education department consultant. Currently he is a professor of educational leadership at the University of Central Florida. In addition, Pawlas has authored dozens of articles and coauthored three editions of a book on educational supervision. He is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences.