Uncategorised / Sep 25, 2020

Ditch Email: Jumpstart Parent Participation

Image Ditch Email (1)

With many teachers moving to remote learning or hybrid learning, the need to communicate and share information with parents is increasing.  Many teachers don’t know where to start with parent communication and have defaulted to sending emails. While email has never been a great solution, it is more evident in light of recent events that it is no longer an option for quality parent-teacher communication. 

Email communications are not always accessible for all families, and tracking parent engagement via email can be complicated. You may also require event and conference coordination, and email is not a good facilitator of this type of planning and communicating. Worst of all, sending emails doesn’t help build a classroom or school community.

You may feel anxious about switching to an app, even though you need something more comprehensive than email. Learn how you can jumpstart parent communication by ditching email and using ClassTag; a user-friendly parent-teacher communication app.

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Parent Communication that Works for ALL Parents

Students and their families come from all socio-economic backgrounds. Not all parents and families have access to computers or smartphones, so finding a communication method that works for ALL parents will help you meet families where they are.

Sending Email Doesn’t Actually Reach Parents

Have you ever sent out an email and only got a few responses, or worse – none? 

From your email to a parent’s email, anything might’ve happened. Your email might’ve ended up in the spam box, or maybe you unknowingly sent the email to the wrong address. Not all parents and families have access to computers or smartphones, so not all parents might use or check their emails. Many parents might not speak native English and don’t understand what you sent. 

With a frustratingly low response from parents, you’re probably at your wit’s end.

Communicate With Parents Where They Are

With the diverse needs of families, finding a communication app that works and is accessible is necessary.  Getting in touch with parents, in the way that works for them, ensures no parents are out of the loop. 

For ELL parents, automatic translation can remove the language barrier and help families have a positive communication experience.

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With ClassTag, you can send messages in over 60+ languages through email, SMS, web, the app, and even paper. Parents on ClassTag can choose their communication channel, in their preferred language, making it super easy to get in touch with parents.

Ensuring Parents Are Receiving Your Communications

COVID forced many schools to go to remote or hybrid learning. Both learning styles require parents to be in the loop through constant communication. To guarantee parents are receiving your messages, you’ll need to collect data.

The Unreliability of Email

Email boxes can get messy and out of control, FAST. Consolidating data on who has received emails can be confusing and time-consuming. Countless read receipts and invalid email messages later, you’re probably questioning if your emails are even getting to parents. 

Let’s face it; emails are unreliable and don’t provide any actionable data.

Ensuring Parents Are Getting Your Communications (While You Get the Data you Need)

Often the parents that need the most support are the ones receiving the least amount of communications. Knowing who isn’t receiving essential communications is the first step to getting in touch and supporting hard to reach parents. 

You won’t find a cluttered read receipt list from ClassTag. All read receipts are consolidated, making it easy to find parents who have not received messages.

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You may also encounter parents who change their contact information. With ClassTag’s smart directory, you’ll know when a parent’s contact information is invalid. Giving you useful and actionable information makes it easier to identify parents who need additional support. 

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Many teachers and schools use data to monitor parent engagement and participation to ensure students’ needs are met. ClassTag consolidates easy to interpret data across the platform in a “Stats” tab, allowing you to make the best plan of action regarding a family. 

Building Classroom Community (and Boundaries)

Great parent relationships and participation will enrich a classroom. 

Events and conferences are an essential part of the building classroom community. Parent communication and participation are needed to schedule and coordinate successful events properly. 

Don’t forget: good relationships come with building healthy boundaries. 

The Breakdown of Community and Boundaries When Using Email

Email chains to coordinate events and conferences can get long and confusing with the constant back-and-forth. You may be wondering what the original email topic was all about when you read an email chain twenty-seven emails long. 

Coupled with remembering who RSVP’d while sending reminders to parents, and you may be wishing you could turn off your email. 

Using Parent Participation to Build Community (while maintaining boundaries)

Coordinating events and conferences don’t need to be complicated. Setting up Events and conferences with ClassTag is not only simple; it also encourages parents to participate! How awesome would it be to have your next read-aloud done by a parent!?

When you create an Event with ClassTag, parents will be able to RSVP with one click. Conferences allow parents and you to select the time that works for you both, without going back-and-forth. 

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Parents will receive notifications and reminders in automatic Weekly Newsletters in their preferred method of communication. Events and conferences automatically sync with Google Calendar and Google Meet, keeping essential information together. 

You work hard, and when you’re ready to call it a day, you deserve to get some rest. Create a boundary around your personal time with office hours. You’ll get to set the time frame you would like to communicate with parents.

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Get the Support You Need, Where, and When you Need It.

Changing the way you communicate with parents might seem a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be stressful! With the proper support, you can quickly move to a new platform and build better partnerships with parents, than ever.

Getting Help With Live User Support and a Thriving Network of Teachers

Sometimes we just need a little help from our friends!

ClassTag has an internal, well-trained team of user support employees. That means ClassTag will be answering your questions in hours, not days or weeks, by a real person who genuinely cares about what you do! For those DIY’ers out there, ClassTag also has a vast catalog of help pages, blogs, and resources, for a stress-free setup!

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Teachers, just like you, make up our teacher community! Find answers to your burning questions while getting the best practices that fit your classroom needs. Or just grab a cup of coffee and relax and chat about the week!


Are you ready to ditch email and jumpstart parent participation by joining ClassTag: the FREE, user-friendly communication platform for parents and teachers?

Join ClassTag

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