Using Your School CMS to Increase Parent Involvement
Parent involvement directly affects a child’s success, but what is it? According to a research paper written by Jeri LaBahn, parent involvement is “a combination of commitment and active participation on the part of the parent to the school and to the student.”
More involved parents almost always tend to help their child perform better academically and socially. An increase in involvement can also lead to better attendance, reduced anxiety, and more open communication between a school and home. Many parents have busy schedules, making it difficult for schools to encourage them to be an active participant in their child's education as well. Fortunately, a good CMS, or content management system, can help schools increase parent involvement and in turn, better the lives of their students.
News & Events
One of the easiest ways to encourage parents to become more involved with their child’s education is by keeping them in-the-know. Given that many working adults now receive their day-to-day news online, it should come as no surprise that parents go to a school’s website to receive news as well. Forget the days when all school news was typed up into a flyer and sent home in students’ backpacks never to be seen again. Today, with a CMS like Edlio's, parents can sign up to receive news from all of their child's classes in a single, daily email, including important information about upcoming homework assignments. When parents are up-to-date on school events, they’re already more involved in their child’s education.
As a bonus, all of Edlio's websites are mobile responsive, meaning parents can view their school's calendars on-the-go. Given that many adults rely on online calendars to retrieve important information on their mobile devices, this helps parents stay engaged with their school happenings and remind their children as well.
Another great way to increase parent involvement is through homepage alerts. These are little popups that appear on a school website when it is first visited. Many schools utilize this feature to notify website visitors of emergencies or important events that are pertinent to the wellbeing and functioning of the school community. These alerts help save parents time because they don’t have to dig through the news or call the front office to find out if, for example, school is closed after a heavy night of snow.
For parents who receive a lot of emails during the week, school newsletters are a simple way to condense a variety of information into one succinct email. Whether it’s pictures of a school field trip, reminders, or even a list of new faculty, newsletters make it easy for parents to be aware of what’s going on with their child’s school. As school faculty, the more ways you can reach a parent, the easier it is for them to receive your messages. Newsletters also have a tendency to be more visually attractive than a regular announcement. The added aesthetics and visuals inside newsletters can captivate parents attention for a longer period of time, making them more engaged with the content. Most content management systems offer not only a feature for crafting newsletters, but have an option to post a newsletter signup form on the homepage of the school’s website, making it easier for parents to subscribe.
Interactive Teacher Pages
When looking into CMS options for your school, it’s also important to look for a system that allows teachers and staff to create their own pages specific to their classes. This allows those staff members to post information to the school website that may only be relevant to the students in their class, as well as the parents of those students. Within these teacher pages, parents can find out about class-specific events, sign up for class-specific emails, and email their child’s teachers. Most importantly, teachers and staff often use their personal page to post their syllabus and upcoming homework assignments. This allows for parents to stay up-to-date on the work their child should be doing at home and will better prepare them to assist their child in completing the assignment correctly and on time.
While many students use social media to keep up with their favorite celebrities, social media is a great way for parents to keep up with their school. Some parents even check social media more than they check their emails, making social media an easy way to get parents more involved with their child’s school. The social element of social media pushes admins of social accounts to make information a little less dry, as well.
You may have seen that little Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram icon on your school’s website. That's because a social media manager like Edlio's allow for links to a school's social handles to be posted on the school's website. Edlio can even embed Twitter and Facebook handles into the website itself which allows administrators to post on Twitter and Facebook directly from their CMS! Social media is a simple, easy way to add on another channel that may be best for reaching a younger demographic of parents.
You don’t need to go over-the-top to get parents more involved with their child’s school and education. A good CMS can help provide schools and faculty with a variety of different channels to reach different types of parents. Having trouble getting your student’s parents involved? Click here to check out our Ebook on communicating with busy parents to learn more!