How schools can keep communicating in the face of COVID-19

Untitled design 52 | How schools can keep communicating in the face of COVID-19
By Toby Lester | 13th March 2020 | 8 min read

The recent COVID-19 crisis brings with it a set of unique challenges for schools and trusts to face. Whether it’s home-school communication, the threat of larger class sizes when we return or even the administrative burden that’s being heaped onto office staff, there’s a need for whole-school solidarity and community support now more than ever.

For businesses, the problem can be a simple one to solve: just let your staff work from home. However, for a school, it’s not that simple.

Here’s how your school can keep the lines of communication open no matter what the next few weeks throw at you.

Keep student information up to date

If you don’t have up-to-date contact information for all your parents, it’ll be impossible to get in touch with them.

Contingency plans change on a daily basis, and it’s really important to ensure that all your families are kept up to date. Even more importantly, you’ll need to collect information on any pre-existing respiratory conditions your students may have.

That’s why online parental communication platforms are so valuable: they enable you to collect this information with ease. For example, PS Connect has a Forms feature that lets schools build out forms in minutes and push them to all their parents’ phones, so you can get all the information you need without fuss.

The PS Connect dashboard also enables you to see at a glance which students and parents have missing mobile numbers, email addresses and any other important contact information.

Keep parents informed

We can’t predict what’s going to happen over the coming weeks, but there are likely to be some significant changes to the way schools operate. We may even need to keep parents informed on a day-to-day basis.

This is where parental communication apps will come into their own. For example, when parents need to be informed of changes, you can use PS Connect to update your flexible school microsite and push updates directly to parents’ phones. With instant translation to over 40 languages, you can be sure that every family knows what to expect.

In cases where parents don’t have access to smartphones, the system can detect this and send out text messages and emails, so nobody misses out.

Stay social

School social media accounts are the mouthpiece of your institution. You should continue to push updates on all your social channels and accounts.

Comprehensive school communication platforms can be a huge help with this. PS Connect can even manage your school social media channels from within the same platform as your parent messaging and schedule messages for later publishing, making it a much easier task.

Share home-learning resources

It’s a good idea to start preparing home-learning resources as a last resort. In a worst-case scenario, schools could be closed for several weeks, so it’s important to ensure that students don’t fall too far behind.

You can share personalised resources to all students using PS Connect’s robust MIS integration. Segment students using your class and year data and send out attachments with a personalised at-home learning pack.

Here’s how to create a microsite with learning resources to support home-learning:

Don’t forget your staff

It’s vital to keep your staff informed, engaged and up to date with the latest school news. PS Connect automatically syncs staff contact data from your school information management system so you can easily send them regular updates and keep them in the loop.

You can even manage manage permissions so that teachers can only see certain groups of students – here’s how it works:

Whatever your school’s COVID-19 plans, we want to help you reach out to your communities. We’re always here to help you build out a parental communication strategy with PS Connect; if you’d like to find how we can help, contact us today.