Guide shares best practices for two critical communication components: message content and cadence
As teachers and students embark on the 2021-22 school year, districts’ and schools’ ability to effectively communicate with families will be vital. To help educators with their communication efforts—regardless of what platform or tool they use—ParentSquare, the award-winning unified school-home communications platform for K-12, has created a free best practice guide.
Titled “Effective Family Communications: From Content to Cadence,” the 16-page guide explains how these two factors influence successful family communication and walks readers through best practices for each. Readers can also access a companion infographic titled “Effective Family Communications: Does Your Messaging Stack Up?”
“The result of ineffective communications can be far-reaching, including reduced family engagement, fewer responses to requests for volunteers and supplies, or difficulty getting important student documents completed and returned,” said Anupama Vaid, ParentSquare Founder & President. “That’s because many families might not receive, pay attention to or understand the messages. We created this best practice guide as a useful, general resource to help all districts and schools evaluate and improve their family communications.”
The guide helps readers take stock of district or school communication practices to determine their effectiveness. It is designed to be used by both educators who are new to school-home communications practices to get started quickly, and by seasoned veterans as a valuable refresher.
The best practices within the guide are organized around 10 key questions that administrators and educators should ask themselves about their current communication practices at every level, from the district office to the classroom. Readers can identify gaps and prioritize areas for improvement in their school-home communications ecosystem by asking themselves questions including:
- Who is communicating? Have you checked with each department or school to find out?
- What time of day are you sending communications? Is it during evenings and weekends, throughout the day or both?
- Are parents/guardians satisfied with your communications? How do you know?
The rest of the guide is organized into three main categories, or sequential steps, that discuss the best practices pertaining to the 10 key questions. Readers will learn how to make their messages actionable and absorbable, reduce message fatigue, make data-informed decisions, and gauge internal and external satisfaction with district or school communication efforts.
The infographic serves as a quick reference companion to the guide. It consists of a chart showing the communication modes (e.g., email, text message, app, and more) best suited for particular types of messages (e.g., emergency alerts, newsletters, progress reports, etc.).
The guide “Effective Family Communications: From Content to Cadence” and the companion infographic “Effective Family Communications: Does Your Messaging Stack Up?” are available for download at no charge at https://links.psqr.io/effective-family-comms.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.