Remind has raised the bar with their simple strategy and their announcement of two-way communication. Using the feature in beta for the last two months has been amazing, and my mind has been running with so many different implementation ideas throughout my busy day as a principal. Smooth workflow is key to a principal’s success to help us focus on what’s most important—spending time with students and teachers!
1. Office hours
Schedule office hours for your community. School communication has changed—principals no longer (or shouldn’t) create six-page photocopied newsletters each week for the entire school. Keeping your parent community updated with announcements throughout the week is a great start.
Having “open” office hours throughout the day is an extra layer of communication to ensure families are in-the-know. An informed parent community that’s connected to the school pays huge dividends! I’m starting with 6 AM–4 PM office hours and will adjust as we roll out two-way messaging at John Swett Elementary.
2. Safe and private communication
Remind is a direct line of communication for our community. Parents no longer need my personal phone number; they can contact me through Remind. I also don’t have to go through the headache of collecting every email address from parents. In addition, messages are flagged for inappropriate language and all message history is recorded.
Our school website is robust and I tweet updates from our school account all day long, but questions still come up. Having parents be in touch with the principal during the day is golden! From chatting with my PTA president, checking in with teachers about different activities on campus, and even connecting with my office manager, two-way messaging was the missing piece in my communication toolbelt.
3. Emails! All those emails!
Encourage your community to use Remind instead of email. My mobile phone is always with me, which means I’m always available through Remind. Instead of all of those quick check-in questions that can often turn into a five-paragraph email, your community will have to be more concise. Also, if you get the same question from more than a few parents, chances are you need to clarify with everyone. It’s a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of your parent community throughout the day.
4. It’s all about mobile communication
As a mobile principal, I’m on my phone all day long, and most parents are as well. Reaching your parent community on their mobile phones is a must—it’s the age we live in, how we communicate, and how work gets done. The photo below from one of our school events is great proof that mobile to mobile communication is a must in order to reach parents and students where they are. Remind makes this happen, and two-way messaging eases the communication workflow between school and home.
5. Many schoolwide benefits
Check out the schoolwide benefits of using Remind, implementation ideas, and video resources! I spoke about two-way messaging at our monthly PTA meeting last week, and parents are super excited to try it out. Stay tuned for my follow-up blog post as we implement it with the whole school community!