Any place that parents gather is a place where gossip and information spreads like wildfire—like your school’s parking lot during drop-off and pick-up periods. While waiting for their children, parents like to talk about what’s going on in their lives, which often includes their perspectives on school life. Such conversations should be expected, monitored, and maintained as a microcosm of your school’s broader marketing effort.
As School Head, you’re in a unique position to discover which way the wind blows early—and to communicate in ways to change the direction of the conversation.
Last month, we talked about the benefits of having monthly “Head talks,” during which you’d make yourself available to chat with parents and families in an informal setting. We still believe they’re a great tool for building rapport with families and community stakeholders. There are, however, some problems that may arise in such a program, should you not take care.
As the School Head, your personal time and attention to various school issues are both limited and constantly in demand. So, if you make time to see parents once a month or so—perhaps for a coffee hour or an informal evening potluck with babysitting provided—families will appreciate your effort and will take advantage of the opportunity. These “head talks” can benefit you, too—if you plan ahead correctly.
What is your school doing the week of November 16-20? Hopefully, you’re all preparing to participate in International Education Week (IEW). 2015 marks the fifteenth anniversary for this joint initiative begun in 2000 as a collaboration between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. Join schools around the world, and have your students and faculty try out these easy ways to celebrate cultural and educational exchange!
Retention efforts for your school’s families start on Day One, and as School Head, you have a unique opportunity to reinforce your school’s appreciation of their contribution to the broader community. September, then, is the time to reach out to your new families as the “figurehead” of the school and make them feel personally welcome in their new educational community.
Welcome, new School Heads! It’s a new school year, with new challenges to face and new ideas to implement. We know that, whether you’re new to the role or new to the school, transition can be overwhelming. Knowing this, we’ve compiled a list of three essential pointers to get you started.
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