While it still takes a village to raise a child, the village likely no longer consists of people who live and work within walking distance. The result is a loss of built-in connection. Today, schools have to be intentional about staying connected to the community. It requires alerting community members of information that is current and easily accessible while enabling communication wherever and however is most convenient for them. We’ve helped hundreds of schools become more connected to their community, and we share our top four tips below.
1. Keep information current
The foundation of a connected school community is up-to-date information. In today’s fast-moving society, updating information once a quarter or even once a month is no longer enough. All members need to know that the decisions they are making are based on accurate information.
For example, a coach can’t enforce a school attendance policy effectively if the information available is a week old. Parents who want to give permission to their kids on social events based on grades are less effective if they find out about a missing assignment after the event already happened.
2. Ensure information is easily accessible
Keeping information current is vital, but its effectiveness is muted when stakeholders aren’t able to access it when they need it. Easy access will look different for each team member, so it’s important to provide a variety of tools. Most schools are aware that the school website is often the first stop when someone is seeking information, but it may no longer be enough.
The popularity of apps has challenged the belief that simply maintaining a website is enough. When families can control the lights in their house, pre-heat their oven, and order groceries from an app, it’s fair to say they expect to check their child’s grades from an app.
3. Alert members of new or updated information
Current, easily accessible information is only as helpful as people’s knowledge of its availability. And we expect to be alerted of its availability. In our daily lives, we expect information to come to us, such as a change to store hours or a surprise sale. Information about schools and students is no exception: Simply posting an update is no longer enough.
A system needs to be in place for alerting key stakeholders that updates and new information are available. Whether it’s through an automated phone call, a text message, or an email, if you’re not sending immediate alerts when new information is available it’s likely the information is being missed.
4. Enable quick, easy communication between members
When new information is available, community members expect an easy way to communicate with each other about the information. The more instant communication can be, the more likely it is to happen. Being able to email, call, or text in the moment can be the difference between an important follow-up happening and simply a fleeting thought.
Is your school and community as connected as they could be?
Schedule a free demonstration with our jmc sales team to find out how we can help strengthen your school-community connection with simple, affordable solutions. Contact our sales team at email@example.com