CommunicationProduct Update

Let’s Talk About It: 5 Tips for Creating a Culture of Communication

Smore Team
3 min read
Teacher on a laptop sending a Smore newsletter to a parent who is reading it on her phone

Communication lies at the heart of every successful school community. 

For principals, fostering a culture of communication within your building isn’t just a goal; it’s the gateway to enhanced family engagement and student success. Today, let’s explore five actionable tips to get you started.

1. Start a weekly update (or 2!) 

Kick off your communication strategy by establishing a weekly update routine. Launch one for your family community and one for your team. In your family update, share upcoming events, highlights of school life, important procedures, and other need-to-know news. Make sure to use a platform with a translation tool to keep it inclusive of all families.

Your weekly team update should celebrate your team, inspire them, reduce their burden by fronting key information for the week, and share resources. This not only keeps everyone in the loop but also fosters a sense of unity among the adults working in your school building.

2. Use newsletter best practices 

Take a page from Smore’s book and apply newsletter best practices for your updates. Here’s a quick hit list:

  • Think “bite-size”: keep text to a minimum, focusing on clear headers with bullet points rather than paragraphs because long blocks of text will actively discourage your readers 
  • Think visual: include plenty of photos of school life, which draws your reader’s attention
  • Think mobile: remember that almost everyone is reading on the run, on their phone. Always send a test update to yourself and read it on your phone. This will help you ensure a comfortable reading experience.

Newsletter best practices are a bit of a mindset shift – rather than elegance, think efficiency.

3. Actively solicit feedback 

Encourage a two-way dialogue by actively seeking feedback. Establish a culture where sharing ideas and concerns is not only welcomed but celebrated. This engagement fosters a sense of community among the adults working in your school and with the families in your community. 

Soliciting feedback is also a great engagement tool because it shifts your communication from one-way to two-way. It says, “Your voices matter.” It’s also an inclusive way to collect information about what’s working, what’s missing the mark, and what folks need or want more of.

We suggest using a Google form and keeping it simple, with three questions max. 

4. Provide a communication template 

Once you’ve set the rhythm for your updates and modeled the tone and style for communication, set the expectations for your teachers. Share a template you’d like them to use for weekly classroom updates. This streamlines information sharing and empowers your team to communicate effectively, cohesively, and on brand. 

Here’s the big picture reason you want your team communicating home every week: it’s the #1 way to build trust with families, a non-negotiable when it comes to improving student outcomes.

5. Consistency, consistency, consistency

Consistency is the bedrock of trust in your school community, so make communication more than a task—make it a habit. Stay committed and ensure that your template and delivery remain consistent. By doing so, you’re laying the foundation for a reliable and engaged school community. Always keep in mind that building a culture of communication within your school is the key to enhancing family engagement and fostering student success.

As you embark on this journey, consider how Smore’s platform can further amplify your efforts, creating a seamless experience for both your school team and the broader community.

Here’s to fostering effective communication and unlocking the full potential of your school community!

Smore Team

Smore makes it fun and effortless to create engaging newsletters that keep families informed and involved in their children's education journey. At Smore, we're passionate about empowering K-12 educators, schools, and districts to foster strong connections with families through vibrant, user-friendly newsletters, easy-to-use technology, and resources from education experts.

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