|Do you want to publish a weekly communication?
Parents say they appreciate it, kids love seeing their names mentioned, and it can keep everyone up to date on coming events.
What can you do to keep it from taking two or more hours to write, print, and distribute each week?
- Focus on why you are writing a newsletter If you write about every subject, mention many students, give a detailed overview of the curriculum, AND a preview of coming events your newsletter will be L-O-N-G. It takes time to write and may not be read by parents. Define the purpose of your newsletter. Is it reminders, student highlights, curriculum information like spelling words or math skills, or a preview of coming events? If you want all those options included, maybe each week could have a different purpose. Think about what will encourage parents to read every newsletter.
- Consider a half page message each week with quick reminders (and a cute image) and a full-page message once a month with more information and a calendar of future events.
- Post the newsletter electronically or send by email instead of printing and distributing. Of course you’ll want to print for a parent who requests a paper copy.
- Bold or underline important information so it catches a parent’s attention.
- Here are the obvious suggestions: Do you have an interested parent who could help produce your newsletter? Sometimes I have a parent who can’t come to school during the day and is happy to edit my rough draft and print at home. Are your students old enough to help write the text? If not, are they old enough to help illustrate?
- Keep in mind your use of education terms. Depending on your parents it can be confusing to use “educationese”. Often it’s best to use plain English.
- Would it help to have a fun template so you just fill in the text? Save time and check out these resources:
- Education World has a free template for each month – edit in Word™
- Ginger Snaps at TPT has 8 free templates – edit in Word™
- Read Like a Rock Star at TPT has a free editable class newsletter – edit in PowerPoint™
- Free templates from 2care2teach4kids – not editable, you have to cut text and paste in place
- Do you want to add online resources but don’t have the time to search them out and make sure they’re safe for your students? Consider: Great Websites for Kids hosted by the American Library Association
- I suggest you have a parent sign and return a slip from the first few newsletters each year so you have some assurance they are expecting to get them from school. You might ask them in the slip what they would appreciate reading in a newsletter. Consider asking for feedback every now and then so you get timely information AND have a sense of the number of parents reading your news.
One last thought – use spell check and ask someone to prufreed your text!