Effective School Communications Takes Many Forms

Technology, busy on-the-go parents, the new “mobile world” order, instant information screaming at you through screens and earbuds all conspire to overwhelm you with data. We live in a data rich, information poor environment where it is hard to get your message across when there is so much noise. Today’s K thru 12 schools are struggling to communicate to parents: Parent Attention Disorder!

I’ve mentioned before the story of my nephew who is a Principal in a middle school in California. Last year they decided to move the school start time to 30 minutes later to give kids a chance to be better rested and more alert. They held school meetings, posted it on the website, put out special notices to take home and alerted parents through their brand-new School Ap. All of this worked to some degree or the other – but no one form of communications did it all. And, in fact, the good old fashioned School Newsletter was one of the most effective tools they used.

The simple fact is, people listen to and receive information in different ways. Added to this is that people “hear” best when they get the message through more than one medium. For the last few years schools have been bewitched by mobile applications, auto alerts and expensive new online communications tools. This is all good – and should help reach parents, teachers and students as they navigate their over-booked lives. But we go too far when we leave the good old fashioned newsletter behind. Digging through your child’s tattered backpack to discover old homework and the school newsletter is not just a time-honored tradition – it remains one of the most effective ways to communicate.

But, the newsletter of old does need a face-lift. Effective newsletters must meet the challenge of:

  1. Being regular and reliable – every month, on time, for 10 months (0r more)
  2. Be structured to make sure it is readable and that important information stands out
  3. It is both paper and electronic so parents can read it their way
  4. It includes need to know information – with a dash of enjoyable, fun to read articles
  5. It is aesthetically pleasing

The School Communications Agency is a School Communications Program company that focuses on effective communications to parents, students and the broader school community of sponsors and supporters.

And, as part of our mission, we make sure you get the School Newsletter right!

Contact us today and find out more: call us at (970) 239-1641, drop us a note at: Or contact me directly at

And remember – there is always a hidden surprise at the bottom of every child’s backpack! Next year – make it a TSCA-partnered School Newsletter.