In our recent teacher survey, over 50% of participants mentioned difficulties with reaching all parents and “wasting time and paper on parent newsletters” as their biggest challenges.
“I find paper notes are unreliable as you are never sure if parents have received them or not.” ClassTag Survey Response
“I waste paper sending and printing over 100 daily reports when I usually get 10 back at the end of the week.” ClassTag Survey Response
We get it! When designing automated parent newsletters, our initial goal was to give teachers their weekends back, as many of you said the only time you have to write parent newsletters is over the weekends. We soon realized that it’s not just about time spent, it’s also about impact. Putting a lot of effort into parent newsletters would be worth it if you could at least be sure they’ve read them!
Why use ClassTag’s Weekly Summary?
We designed the Weekly Summary with an aim to replace labor-intensive paper newsletters. The Weekly Summary is sent as an email or as SMS with a link to view a personalized copy according to parents’ notification preferences. As a teacher, you can add a custom message or just sit back, knowing that ClassTag keeps parents in the loop. You can also choose the time and day when the summary is sent.
Pro Tip: Parents don’t have to join ClassTag to receive the Weekly Summary. They are included in the communication from the moment their email address or phone number is added to the Directory. Additionally, parents can modify their mail settings for all automated communications, so that they’re never overwhelmed with too many updates.
How it works?
The key to benefitting from the Weekly Summary is consistently adding upcoming events to ClassTag. ClassTag can only inform the parents about the activities that are in our system! Our Weekly Summary pulls everything you have scheduled for the week ahead and delivers a clear and concise overview to parents’ inboxes. You can add a custom message if needed, or focus on other things, knowing that your parents will be kept in the loop.
What if there are no new events or activities? No worries, the Weekly Summary is never sent blank. Parents will receive it only if you’ve added a custom message or you’ve added an activity for an upcoming week.
What kind of events and activities will be shared in the Weekly Summary? The possibilities are endless – the beauty of ClassTag is that you can organize virtually anything that has a date. Take a look at this cheat sheet and get creative:
What about the parents who don’t use email (or even a mobile phone)?
Let’s face it – in some classrooms, reaching 100% of parents using technology is simply not possible. Internet access is still limited in some areas, sometimes due to remoteness, and sometimes, poverty. This is where Statistics can really work for you. Seeing who’s read the Weekly Summary is satisfying, but it’s the ability to see exactly who’s not engaging that makes a real difference.
With automated suggestions, you’ll get an instant notification if someone has been missing out on important communication and you can easily print out paper newsletters for parents who are not connected. Because you’re no longer spending hours to prepare the newsletter, you can use the time to work through communication blocks with specific families.
Teachers who use ClassTag consistently mention the Weekly Summary as one of their favorite features.
“I think parents feel more connected. They know exactly what their kids are doing each week. They also know they can volunteer.” – says Helen, a 4th grade teacher.
Would you like to try automated parent newsletters in your classroom? Join ClassTag today.