Here are three of my favorites (and 2 of these were the first on the list):
- Make your professional email and Twitter accounts available this way parents can contact you at their convenience. If you have not created such an account for your school I highly recommend that you do. During the beginning of each school year I send home a letter to all parents that provides detailed information on what Twitter is, how to create an account, and configuring the settings to receive SMS text messages. This versatility, allowing parents to receive updates on their own terms, makes Twitter unlike any traditional communication tool that I’ve ever used as a principal. As far as transparency goes, is there any application more effective than Twitter? In response to parent feedback I created an “Official” school account (NewMilfordHS). The NMHS Twitter page includes a link to the school’s main website as well as our school’s colors, mascot and logo. This makes our page stand out to viewers and establishes a brand presence. Information tweeted out from this account in real-time includes sports scores, special schedules, school news, student achievements, staff accomplishments, campus weather, and emergency information.
- Create your own website and include contact information, availability to meet with or speak to parents, extra help hours, student assignments, press, etc. This is also a great way to convey to parents your philosophy on education, professional accomplishments, and vision for helping students succeed. My website can be viewed by clicking this link.
- Set up a separate phone number for parents using Google Voice.