This week’s show deals with communicating during the summer and how to stay in touch with all the stakeholders in your community. Summer isn’t a sleepy time to cut off communication, but an opportunity to engage, inform and tell your story.
When to Communicate
Early July is a time when a lot of people are traveling or may be busy. It’s not the best time to communicate. Late July and Early August is a great time to get out a newsletter, or bulletin that starts to get people back in the school mindset. A couple of weeks before school starts bringing the community back into the narrative of summer work and what the next school year holds is crucial. Additionally, once the school year actually begins, it becomes too busy for schools to engage, produce and distribute a newsletter.
Summer is a great time to reframe the previous school year, the work of the summer and the plans for the upcoming school year. Additionally, while it is a cost issue, color is so important. Having pictures that encapsulate real life, and a newsletter that looks pleasing really does a lot to communicate to the community.
With summer communication, it is important to frame the upcoming school year not just for the community and students, but for the teachers. Planning and disseminating information to the teachers about convocation can be really helpful. A couple of videos over the summer that goes along with what will concern convocation of the new year can be a great tool to communicate easily to teachers, the community and even prospective families looking to move into the district. One venue where districts can slow down a bit, it social media. People don’t need tweets every day or constant facebook posts over the summer. Take a step back and share the big things.
Regardless of when your board elections are or will be, taking time in the summer to take stock and potentially tap someone can be really valuable. Summer can be a period to start to help a potential board member see the district and see what that type of involvement would be like. You need to tell your school’s story. If you don’t then any other narrative, told by anyone will be what people know. Use summer to tell your story and engage your community.