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Tips for Making Communications Part of Back-to-School Prep

Tips for Making Communications Part of Back-to-School Prep

In order to set a positive tone for the school year, experts shared with Edutopia several ways educators can take advantage of back-to-school communications. The once-a-year opportunity, they say, is the most crucial time to get everyone in the district on board.

Nora Carr, Chief of Staff for Guilford County (NC) Schools and former president of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), suggests that educators do as much as they can to reach the community during the August to mid-September time.

She says this time is the most important to discuss the great things that are happening or will be happening the district in the beginning months.

"Send senior staff and administrators to canvas the community and speak at community gatherings wherever they may occur (Rotary Clubs, faith-based organizations, chamber of commerce meetings, and so on)," Carr told Edutopia.

Take advantage of any media channel available, she says. Open houses, social media channels, cafeteria menus, etc. all serve as ways to send the community positive information occurring within the district.

"Showcase expertise as well as school- and district-specific announcements. For example, topics like helping students deal with homework stress or getting children to go to bed earlier can position your staff as a 'go-to' resource for information that applies to all, not just those who attend your school."

Communicating with parents is another important component of back-to-school communications.

Starting communication with parents early and promoting two-way conversations is an expert tip on getting parents ready to engage in the new school year.

"By sending out the information that you want to discuss in advance, parents and families have time to digest it and come to the meeting ready to engage," the article said.

Edutopia also has tips for districts who have never considered a wide-scale communications approach as part of back-to-school preparation.

"One general communications tip from Nixa (Missouri) Public Schools' award-winning Director of Communications Zac Rantz: Start small and grow -- 'the idea that 'it's better to do a few things well than many things poorly' applies here.'"

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

08/07/2015

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