The nature, speed, opportunities and approaches to communication have changed drastically over the last few years. As such, our school, Belvedere Parkway, is embarking on what I hope is a faster, more easily accessible, rich, and clear communication strategy. My goal is to make it much more easily accessible by parents, students, and the school community where and when needed.
My school is embarking on a new communication strategy, including a new, more dynamic website, instant communication and social media, online parent communication, and student online agendas and sharing of learning. I am not a marketer nor do I have any education in that area, but I have come to realize the importance of great communication so that our parents, students and community have a good understanding of what is happening within our school.
Why the change? I am doing everything I can do to cut down on the cost of agendas and paper and copying, develop a consistent form of communication where students can’t lose the piece of paper, utilize automatic tools such as emails and blogs and websites, and even look down the road to adding options around SMS and texting.
The reasoning also includes being better able to communicate in a timely manner (knowing most parents don’t read monthly newsletters, be honest!), trying to minimize our environmental impact through all the photocopying that takes place for forms and newsletters, and creating more instantaneous and easy access to needed information for our school community.
I will be working to completely revamp our school website this year, as well as develop communication strategies for the school community using the following guiding principles:
- Develop, promote and maintain communication to enhance student learning (daily)
- Create awareness and understanding of what is happening in learning every day at BelPark
- Parents, students, teachers and admin are all part of each child’s learning team
- Students to connect their learning from school to home with their parents
- Ability to access when and where needed, on computers, phones, tablets, etc.
ADMIN BLOG – http://belparkadmin.weebly.com/ (RSS Feed)
TWITTER – follow @belparkcbe
FACEBOOK – search “Belvedere Parkway”
BELPARK WEBPAGE – http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b110/
CLASSROOM SITES – http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b110/agendas.htm
For me, the Weebly is awesomely easy as when I post, the exact same immediate information will be sent out automatically through the Admin Blog, Twitter and Facebook.
We have made a staff agreement that photos and names will not be connected on any of our Belvedere Parkway School or classroom sites. For example, if there was a photo of 3 students working, a caption might read “3 grade 5/6 students are working on…” rather than identifying them by name.
I am already utilizing tools like Weebly, Facebook, Twitter, and Google apps for education, but I also want to look down the road at a school YouTube channel, utilizing photos and video of student learning, as well as being able to utilize push notifications rather than having parents need to look for information or go to a website to see if it has been updated.
Stay tuned this year, as we embark on this journey. I will share our trials and tribulations and successes and big question marks… I would love to hear more on what others are doing as well. Connect with me or leave a comment.
Yours in enhancing communication between home and school,