Some schools continue to view parent involvement in the 20th century: parent meetings, PTA organizations and getting things signed and returned. This effort, while still very important in schools today, fails to meet most parents where they are now, in the 21st century.
Schools must make the change and here are some ways to bring your parent communication into the 21st century.
HootsuiteThis tool is amazing, and it brings all of your social media together and allows you to send one message over multiple accounts. You can also schedule your messages days, weeks or months in advance so that you dont forget to send that very important message to your parents at a time when the message is most pertinent to them.
YouTubeHaving a YouTube account makes it easy for you to create videos and share videos through your Twitter & Facebook accounts as well as email. Parents can learn campus processes and procedures, see exactly what's happening in your school as well as learn new information through a short video, Video is a powerful communication tool to show parents what learning looks like in the 21st century.
WebsiteWebsites are not new, but many schools do not get maximum exposure from websites because they are overloaded with content or not maintained regularly. Schools must create easy-to-navigate websites with current, concise and parent friendly information. Websites must be simple in organization and content so parents will not be overwhelmed by information overload or by difficulty in finding information that they need.
Push your InformationIf you want parents to get important information, it is important that you push information to them. RSS feeds, call out systems and text messaging systems for pushing grades to parents on a regular basis builds transparency and trust between the school and home, which translates into a desire to work with parents.
The days of sending papers home and expecting every student to get the information home, signed and returned is unrealistic, to say the least. Schools must step out, commit to over-communicating in a systematic fashion so that they minimize the chance that the message is not received by parents.
Schools that are most successful in parent involvement believe that they must do whatever it takes to involve parents in the education of their child. These schools also are successful in student achievement because their parents are active partners in supporting their children in reaching academic goals. In short, giving a hoot about parent involvement translates into student success.