Information Overload: How to Streamline Your School’s Communications

May 13, 2023

Does this sound like your school?

💬 Parents: We’re overwhelmed with work, school, and extracurriculars—we don’t have time to search for things. We have to dig through our school’s emails to find what we’re looking for (and we’re not always successful). We have no idea where things are located and fear we’re missing important events and information. Help, we’re drowning!

💬 Schools: We know we have a communication problem. We’re not sure what teachers are sending, when key communications are being emailed, and how many emails a family receives in a week. Yet, we need to keep parents informed. Argh!

😕 Information overload is a key problem in schools. In this blog, we’ll go through some strategies for helping to streamline communications and decrease parent overwhelm.

So let’s discuss some options:

✅ Consider Apps
We’ve been reviewing several apps for schools. The key thing with Apps is that they should replace systems you already have, the goal is to streamline. Don’t get an app just to have an app. It should make your parent's lives easier not more disjointed.
If launching an app know there is a learning curve for both staff and parents. So be sure and build a long runway to do this well.

  1. ParentSquare: Although pricey, they replace the most software systems, including emergency alerts, email marketing, photo apps, forms, sign up Genius, and more
  2. Digistorm: They will customize an app for you. They are less pricey and not as robust, but they may be exactly what your school needs.
  3. ClassTag: This is another popular choice

Many of these apps will do free demos with your school where you can see the platform and ask questions before you try them.

✅ Create and Follow a Consistent Comms Schedule
All communications from all departments and classrooms should be on one schedule.

For example
HOS emails are 1x a month
Weekly newsletter 1x a week on a specific day
Teacher updates 1x a month
Updates to a photo app 2x/week
Annual Fund emails
Community Event emails
Parent Association emails
Class Liaison eamils
Grandparents & Special Friends Day emails

Everything should be on that communication calendar, and the goal is to communicate that schedule and stick to it. Ensure that teachers, parents associations and others are included in your system. Everyone needs to respect and follow the communication systems you set up. It only takes one rogue teacher or admin to derail the entire process.

✅ Understand how your parents prefer to communicate. Survey parents annually or every other year to determine what platforms they use regularly. Do they prefer email or text, and so on. You need to meet the parents where they are.

✅ Have accurate calendars that parents can sync to their own calendars. Then parents can easily be informed about upcoming events.
Have a set staff member who regularly checks and updates your calendar to be sure it is accurate and robust. If Parents are finding the calendar to be inaccurate, or do not have the full information then they will feel frustrated and disconnected.

If you would like help streamlining your school communications set up a half-day strategy session.