The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are unknown for everyone. There are many questions about the right things to do, especially when it comes to communication.
We have made a list of ideas that will hopefully help you in your school communication during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For prospective families
Reach out to families in your pipeline. Chances are you had some families in your pipeline before the pandemic happened. Reach out to them by phone and simply ask them how they are. Many will remember you took the time to call them and that will keep the lines of conversation open.
Mobilize your ambassadors. Ask a parent or a student ambassador if they are willing to record a video or be available for virtual “meet and greets”. If someone is interested, such communications provide great peer stories for prospective families who will not have a more traditional enrollment experience. And for the ambassadors who are willing, connect them with families in your funnel or those who have been offered acceptance for the next school year.
Make classes available to the public via social media. Expand your reach and introduce people to what you are doing through a “get to know us” or “physical activity” class. Parents might want to hop on and see what you are all about, giving them a chance to see the experience you provide to children every day.
Do not stop advertising. If you are wondering should your school pause advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic, the answer is no. You just might have to pivot what you advertise.
For current families
Create a FAQ section on your website. You are probably hearing many of the same questions from families. Create a FAQ section on your website so everyone has a basic understanding of where your school stands and your plan moving forward.
Talk with your families. Connecting deeper with your current families is very crucial. That may involve reaching out to current families to check in on them. Another option is to rely on staff members who might not have as much to do and have them become liaisons for families each week.
Get the head of your school involved. There is no doubt this is an unsettling time. Your families appreciate hearing from their children’s teachers, but also want to hear from the head of school. What is happening from a leadership perspective?
Encourage creativity from your teachers. Teachers are innately creative. Make sure to let them know they can try new things while teaching remotely. If you keep the door open and continue encouraging them, your teachers will be excited about the idea of coming forward to share examples of their work in the digital classroom.
Host a virtual spirit week. Your community is what makes your school great. Host a virtual spirit week, pajama Tuesday, or “Throwback Thursday”. Gather students on birthdays to sing but also be sure to recognize other milestones as well. This helps students feel like a part of your community and it strengthens your bond.
We hope these ideas are helpful and spark some new actions you might take at your school. Thank you for taking the time do read our blog post on school communication during COVID-19.