For many families a phone call or email from school can mean trouble. This goes double during the summer, when communication from school can often be sporadic, or even nonexistent. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Instead of sending messages solely to inform, you can use different communications tools to keep your school’s sense of community thriving through the summer, whether in person or at a distance. Here are four ways to maintain close bonds within your school community over the summer.
Send Emails or Texts
Emails and text messages can be a great way to keep in touch with your school community. Ask students how their summer vacation is going, send a list of upcoming community events to families, or share interesting articles with staff members.
You can send mass messages to your entire school, but you may want to direct personalized messages to certain groups, for example incoming kindergarten families or families on a particular bus route. Some student information systems (SIS) allow users to send emails this way. For example, jmc schools can use the Message Center to direct messages to specific groups or combinations of groups. Check with your school’s SIS provider to see if they offer the same service.
Post on Social Media
Does your school or district have social media profiles? Don’t let these communication channels go dormant over the summer! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube—all of these social platforms and more can help you stay connected with your students, families, and staff. Post pictures of school staff doing summer activities, share interesting facts about your school’s history, or do a fun countdown in the weeks leading up to the first day of school. The possibilities are endless!
Looking for an easy way to keep your social accounts active over the summer? Check out jmc’s social accounts for thought-provoking and engaging content to share. If you don’t relish the thought of staying on top of a social media account, there are many apps out there that allow you to schedule posts ahead of time, including SmarterQueue, Hootsuite, and CoSchedule. And remember, your school community probably isn’t looking for round-the-clock updates, so go easy on yourself!
Have a Video Chat
One bright spot that has emerged from the past year of pandemic learning is that many of us have become experts at using video conferencing technology. Use this newfound comfort to your advantage by having a video chat with your school community members. Students and their families may especially appreciate seeing a friendly face over a written message, especially if you’re calling from a familiar place inside your school like the library or cafeteria.
There are many options out there for video chatting, including Skype, Zoom and Google Meet, all of which are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. If you’re unfamiliar with these apps, check them out to see which one is right for you.
Wear Your School Pride on Your Sleeve
Schedule a day (or multiple days!) for students, families, and staff to wear their school colors or branded apparel. Encourage people to share pictures of themselves on your school’s social media profiles. Or, if your local community is hosting outdoor summer events, consider scheduling a meetup where everyone attends an event in their school gear.
By the way, if you’re still selling your school apparel only at in-person events or through paper forms, you might be missing out on online sales. Some SIS offer online store solutions so your school can sell logo-wear, event tickets, and more from within the system you use every day. jmc users, our new online store module will be coming soon! If your SIS doesn’t have online sales capabilities, you can set up a shop through a third-party vendor like Jostens or Threadless.
How Will You Stay Close This Summer?
Interested in learning more about jmc’s Message Center capabilities? To find out more about jmc’s solutions and state reporting capabilities, watch this overview video on our YouTube channel or schedule a no-obligation demo today.