For the last three years, my class blog has been a great way to communicate with parents. The blog acts as a window into our class and the parents can stay up to date with our activities and achievements.
This year, I’ve introduced a parent email newsletter which has been well received.
At the start of the year I asked all of the parents for their email address. Out of 21 students, I currently one have one parent without email.
I entered these addresses into my Outlook contacts and created an email distribution list.
Every fortnight I write an e-newsletter to parents. It includes information on our current learning focusses, upcoming events, reminders etc.
*Tip* If you are emailing a group of parents, put the distribution list or email addresses in the BCC field. This means recipients will not be able to see the other email addresses on the list and the privacy of your parents is protected.
This year I also use email frequently to contact parents individually.
I have had a couple of students who would have had a communication book in the past but the parents and I find email an easier solution.
Parents also email me about absences, medication, and general queries.
Contacting parents via email seems like such a simple concept but one that, in my school circle, is not widely used. Yet!
It is important to note that email contact does not replace all face to face interaction, but with most parents working and busy, it allows for frequent, ongoing communication. It can enhance traditional forms of communication, rather than replace it.
The benefits I’ve found are the instant access, reliability (no lost notes), privacy (personal notes not read by students) and ease of use. It’s sad to say that I can type up a note in about half the time it takes me to handwrite it!
To ensure the parents receive the email, I have made business card sized notes that let parents know they should check their inbox. I only hand these out when it is essential that the email is read. Most of the time it is not necessary but I have found it is handy to have some sitting on my desk. I guess this is a way of ‘training’ parents about this method of communication.
Do you use email to communicate with parents?
What do you think about the idea?