How do we keep everyone connected when we can’t meet in person? The same way we did before: by communicating clearly and frequently, by hosting a variety of social and learning activities, and by building authentic relationships.
Clear and frequent communication
Every year, PTA works with school staff to establish communication processes and tools. This year, with all the changes and updates, it is even more important to reach every single person in our communities.
We need to ask:
- How are people coping?
- What do they need?
- What is the best way to connect?
Effective family engagement includes all families and caregivers. To reach all families, it is vital to share information in a variety of ways: PTA and school district websites and newsletters, email, text, social media posts, and even with paper flyers and newsletters sent by mail.
Recognizing the need for a whole new way to create engagement and community, the PTA in San Francisco started “4-1-1 Wednesday” virtual gatherings for all San Francisco families. They could join by phone or computer. Topics centered on how to support families and parent groups: fundraising brainstorming, mental health and wellness strategies, and tips on creating an inclusive community. 4-1-1 Wednesdays also feature Town Halls with the District Superintendent and Department of Public Health.
These citywide meetings give parents and caregivers the opportunity to learn from each other and strengthen the entire school district community.
Share your own strategies for communicating with your community during Convention 2021 at our Family Engagement Meet-up on Tuesday, May 11 at 4:00 p.m.
About Kari Gray: A San Francisco resident, public school parent, arts advocate and community engagement specialist, Kari Gray currently works as the Special Projects Manager at ODC/Dance and serves on the Boards of Youth Arts Exchange, the Second District of the California State PTA, and on the Family Engagement Commission and Art Committee for the California State PTA.
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