We Asked & They Answered: What Teachers Include in School Newsletters

Dr. Kara Stern
3 min read
September Weekly Update newsletter template.

No one likes to stare at a blank page 👀

So, we surveyed teachers on Twitter about what they include in their school newsletters. Their answers delighted, surprised, and intrigued us. We collected 45 responses, which we’ve organized into three categories: (1) Stay Positive, (2) Stay Organized, and (3) Stay Present.

Hopefully, you’ll come away as inspired as we did!

1. Stay Positive

Teachers have so many ways of expressing positivity in their class newsletters. Pictures are one way to showcase good vibes. We heard about pics of “memorable moments,” pics of students learning, happy, playing, cuddling the class therapy dog, and even pics of a teacher’s dogs!

Besides pictures, teachers encourage positivity in other ways. Some research and share appropriate community events for students with special needs, while others share mental health resources for parents and children. Others have ‘shout-outs’ sections for everything from acts of kindness to parent donations, staff appreciations, and class birthdays.

One teacher wrote in that she just likes to tell families:

How much I enjoy having their kids as students and how lucky I am they are in my class.”

Katie M. (@katlynnmil) August 18, 2022

2. Stay Organized

Parents have a lot on their plates, and using a class newsletter for crucial reminders is a smart use of your space and their time. Teachers are reminding parents: to charge Chromebooks, dates of upcoming school events, due dates of upcoming assignments, and 1/2 days not marked on district calendar (wow, that last one is so thoughtful!)

Many teachers tweeted that they keep parents updated about what students are learning. This includes telling parents about units of study they’ve covered recently, upcoming assessments, when study guides are available, upcoming topics, and questions parents can ask their kids.

One savvy teacher stays extra organized by embedding digital permission slips in his weekly updates. What a timesaver! 🙌

Digital permission slips for upcoming events in my classroom. Saves so much time and effort overall.”

Matthew Winters (@TeacherWinters) August 18, 2022

3. Stay Present

Teachers know the more they engage parents in the life of their classroom, the more successful students will be. So, sharing contact info is a must. Other tips teachers shared with us that encourage parents to stay present? Tech tips, internet safety guidance, and opportunities for parent involvement in the classroom or at school.

Internet safety! No matter how many times you think you’ve explained it, explain some more. #firstclassnewsletter #BackToSchool

SB ✨✏️ (@sbartwork24) August 18, 2022

Updating families weekly is as important as a well-planned lesson. Here’s a template to get started!

Image of September Weekly Schedule Template

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Dr. Kara Stern

Dr. Kara Stern began her career as an ELA teacher, then shifted into administration as a middle school principal. Dr. Stern is a fervent advocate for equitable communication and family engagement. She spent five years as Executive Director at Math for America, where she designed the professional learning community that exists to this day. An unexpected move to Tel Aviv launched her into the world of EdTech where she became the Director of Education Content for Smore and then the Head of Education Solutions at SchoolStatus. Outside of work, she indulges her love for reading, devouring two novels weekly, with a particular fondness for heists and spy stories.

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