school communications

Text, tweet, email, call—what do parents want in school communications?

What does the research say about how parents and school communicate? Is there an overall preference?

When it comes to school communications, parents today want more information from their children’s teachers and schools, but they also want that information to be timely, targeted, and personalized to their children or their interest areas.

The latest data from Speak Up Research Project gives insights on school-to-home communications. In “Text, Twitter, Email, Call—What Do Parents Say About School Communications?” Dr. Julie Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow, shared these insights from parents, educators, and administrators, and discussed takeaways from the research.

Currently: How Most Parents Receive Information

Schools and districts have many external audiences for communications, their primary audience being parents of school-age children. However, those thinking ahead for their children, as well as other guardians of children, want to know important information, too. Parents of children too young to attend school now and grandparents are also top audiences. Regarding how that information is obtained, about 1/3 of parents surveyed say word of mouth is the primary way they get information about their child’s school, which may not be the most effective way to ensure accurate information in conveyed.

What: Types of Information Parents Would Like to Know More About

Parents want more information about their child’s education. They had four top areas which they wanted to know more about:

  • Recommendations about apps to use at home to support learning
  • Types of technology or workplace skills their child is learning
  • What type of technology they should have at home to support learning
  • How to work with teachers to improve learning opportunities.

68 percent of district communication officers were already providing information about the last point. Two of the top priorities for school or district communications professionals were increasing stakeholder engagement and increasing parental knowledge about school and district programs and policies.

(Next page: How parents would like to receive school communications; is social media worth it?)

Meris Stansbury

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