Dear Parents,
Please note, this Newsletter includes useful information regarding the Coronavirus (link here). Please read this so that you are more accurately aware about this situation and how we are monitoring of it. 
On February 14, from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. we will be hosting two “World Cafes” that will include parents, students and faculty to discuss big ideas for furthering our Strategic Plan. Please mark the date.
Please note that for next school year 2020 -2021 the first day of school for Grades 1-12 and the start of home visits for PK,  K and IMAGINE is August 19th.
A couple weeks ago you received a survey regarding our communications strategies. This not only gathered your feedback but also measured the preferred methods of communication. In total 261 parents responded to the survey. This is a statistically significant proportion of our community and provides sufficient data to draw some general conclusions.
Email messages are the preferred method of receiving information. Nearly 60% of respondents answered the request via the email that was sent to them. This was followed by 20% answering via WhatsApp. Only 4% of respondents answered the request via this, the Director’s Newsletter. Other methods of communicating the survey, Twitter, the AC website and Facebook represented less than 1% each. 
Other general trends from all survey results:

  • Parents overwhelmingly indicated preference for emails followed by WhatsApp.
  • Very few people found Facebook or Twitter useful for school communication.
  • ES parents overwhelmingly generally find SeeSaw to be very useful in following their children’s learning, not necessarily for receiving important announcements.
  • Teachers’ Newsletters are generally seen as more useful than other Newsletters.
  • Skyward has mixed reviews with some indicating it is difficult to use.
  • Few IMAGINE parents answered the survey. Data on Story Park is too limited to measure.     
  • The school website is not seen as useful as it could be and difficult to navigate.  

Comments parents shared with us are also very insightful, including:

  • Predominant comment is too many forms of communication, with overlap, inconsistency and redundancy.
  • Sheer amount of communications can be excessive and overwhelming.
  • Amount of WhatsApp communications, especially with multiple children, can be excessive with too many comments etc. that blur the initial messages.
  • Transportation communications need improvement.
  • Some announcements are received too late.
  • WhatsApp is good for urgent messages but protocols are needed to reduce volume.
  • Some struggle with Spanish or English only messages on WhatsApp or Story Park.
  • The calendar is not always helpful.
  • Too many different platforms and ways of communication.
  • There is a need to better proofread Spanish translations.

Thank you for participating in this important survey. Short, specific surveys often encourage more feedback than long, general ones. This data supports our plans to improve communication with parents: 

  • Redesigned, more user-friendly the school website.
  • A parent portal to access information not shared with the general public.
  • Streamlining of communications to fewer platforms with less redundancy.
  • Managing WhatsApp to communicate important messages with less “static”.
  • Consolidation of communications to reduce the sheer amount of messages you receive.

One strategy is to have ONE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER that highlights the most important events and news of the school, across divisions, keep everyone on the same page and more inclined to read the Newsletter. I would like to ask for your feedback on this very short one question survey regarding Newsletters. Let’s get more than 261 respondents! It will take less than a minute.
Thank you and have a great week.