When it comes to communications, schools have a few different priorities:
👓 They need information to be clear.
📖 They need to ensure that important information is read.
📱 They need the creation and distribution process to be quick and easy.
The ideal, of course, is that an institution do all of these in a consistent manner, both throughout the school year, and across all faculty members.
This was the challenge for Rountree Elementary School, in Springfield, Missouri. The school needed an easy, fast way to update parents and community members about upcoming events, and school announcements. 📣
But Principal Amy Patton said that the key element for Rountree was need for something that looked great, but that would still be easy enough for a busy teacher or administrator to accomplish.
The school needed an easy, fast way to update parents and community members about upcoming events, and school announcements
“The need for a professional, easy to put together newsletter,” she said, was the driving force behind Rountree’s decision to use Smore as their newsletter tool of choice.
Rountree’s need for something that hit the sweet spot of looking great and being easy-to-use is a popular request from educators across the globe. As tech like smartphones and tablets become ubiquitous, educators have begun to demand the same kind of consumer-level convenience from their school tools as they’ve come to expect from their devices and services at home. 💻
Educators have begun to demand the same kind of consumer-level convenience from their school tools as they have come to expect from their devices and services at home.
Principal Patton principally uses Smore “to send out monthly parent newsletters, as well as weekly staff newsletters,” both of which are alliteratively dubbed “The Rountree Report,” and which announce school events. Things like:
✋ Volunteer opportunities
📝 Upcoming exams
🚨 Fire drills
🚌 School trips
The Rountree Report also makes creative use of Smore for special days like:
🌎 Earth Day
👩🏫 Teacher Appreciation Week
For all of her work, Patton uses Smore’s interactive features like pictures, video, buttons, and links to make the school’s messaging clear, engaging, and fun.
Every newsletter that Principal Patton sends features a bold header that makes it immediately clear to recipients what they’re reading, and every newsletter begins with an engaging picture, video, or meme at the top. It’s hard not to smile — or keep scrolling! — when reading a Rountree Report from Principal Patton with a hilarious animal meme at the very top of the newsletter.
In a recent survey of educators who use Smore, the primary complaint among principals was that, before they found Smore, they had used other newsletter tools that were inefficient and frustrating, and that recipients simply didn’t read the newsletters they received.
Principal Patton expressed that Smore solved both kinds of issues for her, for the faculty of Rountree Elementary, and for parents and stakeholders. “Smore’s user-friendly layout made things easy,” she said, and that it was a “big time saver” for her and her staff.
“Smore’s user-friendly layout made things easy”
Moreover, features like Smore’s dashboard and analytics tool enable Principal Patton to track usage rates among her faculty, as well as individual open rates for specific newsletters that have been sent.
Using Smore’s School License, teachers at Rountree are active Smore users, with teachers from all grades making active use of Smore’s features to share in-class information, reinforce concepts, announce exams, and, in some cases, announce snow days — a perennial student favorite. ☃️
The teachers who use Rountree’s Smore School License follow Principal Patton’s lead, in terms of design and creativity. Teachers tend to follow Principal Patton’s lead, and cleverly title their newsletters: “The Montgomery Memo” and “Peek at the Week” are two examples of charming, engaging, and ultimately informative weekly newsletters put together by Rountree staff.
When it comes to her thoughts about Smore, Principal Patton simply advised “Get it! You won’t be sorry!” With more than 1 million educators and 10,000 schools and districts using Smore to master their message and update their audiences, Smore provides a full-featured, yet intuitive way for schools and districts to start communicating better.