2.1.2 Communication Guidelines

Welcome Email! (From Fall 2013)

The welcome email is sent out to all students, parents, and facilitators at the beginning of each semester. The welcome email addresses information regarding the Student Orientation Course (SOC). It provides students with the option of opting out of the SOC, or completing the course with a 100%. The welcome email also includes information about schedules and start dates that students will follow throughout the duration of the semester. Students have the option of choosing one of four schedules to follow during the spring and fall semesters, and two schedules during the summer semester. Information about parent accounts and parent account set-up is provided in the welcome email. Additional information on help sessions is also provided in the welcome email.

Personal notes versus mass communication to stakeholders

Personal notes and messages are sent to students when there is a specific concern, or when a teacher is directly responding to a question that is being asked by a student or parent. Mass emails are sent to all students and parents to alert them to upcoming events that are happening within the school, or when grades have been updated within a course. In my GaVS courses, I send mass emails out via Smore and Twitter.


Stakeholders work collaboratively to ensure students are successful in an online environment. At GaVS, the stakeholders include the students, parents, and local school administrators. In addition, the Assistant Supervisors' of Instruction, Supervisor of Instruction, Development Team, Student Support, Technology Specialists, and etc.

School Policies regarding Communication

It is important to abide by FERPA policies when communicating with stakeholders. In addition, it is extremely important to document all communication via the communication log when communicating with parents, administrators, or facilitators.
Below are the steps:
  • document and file emails
  • use a log of information, noting the date, time, context of the contact
  • cc all administrative team members on student concerns, academic violations, or parental issues as determined by the program’s policy for communication.

Tools available for effective Communication

I use Dial My Calls when sending out welcome calls to parents. In addition, I use Dial-My-Calls to alert parents of a failing grade average in my courses. I never say grade specifics when I utilize Dial-My-Calls. This is simply an effective measure to alert them that a students' grade that has dropped below a passing score in class.

Remind 101 is another tools that can be effectively used to send text messages to stakeholders. Although I have never used this tool, I have heard many great things about it from face-to-face teachers.