As summer winds down, prep time for the busy year ahead comes ever nearer. Before you know it, it’s time to start getting back into touch with teachers, parents, and students. Get a head start on the school season by developing an engaging school newsletter to connect with your community.Regular newsletters with high open rates indicate that your communications are being viewed. Newsletters also foster transparency and trust by ensuring that everyone receives the information they need. But with all of the competition for attention, your school newsletter runs the risk of being missed, or even worse, hitting the spam folder.Education-related emails sit at an average open rate of 34%. To meet or exceedthis benchmark, we recommend that you implement the following best practices, draw on inspiration from example templates and use these ideas to engage your community.
School newsletter best practices
Sending a school newsletter will benefit your community. You’re providing them with essential information, crucial updates, and exciting news to circle them into the conversations that are happening. How can you make sure that these important messages don’t get deleted? Start with best practices to captivate attention.
- Don’t overload with content. Less is more. Focus on the value of your content and narrow in on 2-3 main points to hit in each school newsletter. Overloading your emails with information is a sure way to end up in the archives. Many teachers, students, and parents appreciate a more concise email that brings value. Keep things simple and get straight to the point.
- Design for mobile. Optimizing your school newsletters for mobile is crucial since nearly 50% of email opens are coming from these devices. With parents, teachers, and students constantly on the move, desktop design has taken a backseat. Your community needs information fast and at your fingertips to stay up-to-date with changes and events.
- Personalize. Apply personalization strategies to your emails to increase engagement and hear more feedback on your school newsletters. Take advantage of personalizing the subject line by using a first name or nickname that your subscriber goes by. Also, assure that the content you are sending is relevant to your desired subscribers. If they don’t feel connected with the content you are providing them with, rethink your purpose to reframe the desired plan and outcome.
- Find the best time to send. Consider optimal times to send an email before choosing when to send an email. Your day, time, and frequency needs to cater to your subscribers and their schedules. Students read their emails at different times than teachers and teachers may read at different times than parents. It’s all relative to their schedule and interest in what your school newsletter has to offer. A great way to ensure that your school newsletter is reaching your subscribers at the best time is to ask your subscriber list. The goal is to provide value, so quality over quantity is the goal.
Ideas for teachers
As a teacher, enhancing your students’ knowledge and creating the best learning experience is a top priority. But you have an array of other responsibilities as well, like keeping parents informed about what their kids are learning by showcasing some of their work.If you’re planning on staying up to date with informing both students and parents, then using teacher newsletter templates is the best way to quickly initiate that line of communication. These examples will help you get started with brainstorming what to include in your school newsletter.
Newsletters for students:
- Field trip or class events: Share details on the upcoming events that your students will be able to look forward to.
- Get involved: List volunteer opportunities and other ways to get involved with the community.
- Important dates: Include a class schedule, syllabus or any crucial dates students need to remember and prepare for.
- Self-care: Share mental health-related info.
- Book recs: Include a list of book recommendations/book of the month.
- Meet the student section: Create a meet-the-student section where you ask a student a couple of questions that the class may not know about them and then feature them in the school newsletter.
Newsletters for parents:
- Meet the teacher: Students are back to school and it’s made parents curious as to who’s going to teach their child all year. Send a brief description along with fun facts about you so they can warm up to you before the school year begins.
- Supply wish list: As a teacher, you aren’t provided with many supplies or money for supplies to have a fully functioning classroom environment that would create the best experience for students. Include a list on your school newsletter to encourage parents or community members to donate supplies.
- Contact info: Send your info and ask for theirs in return to initiate a line of communication.
- Pictures: Parents love to see pictures of their kids, especially in school while they are away from them. Add pictures from school trips or in-class activities - they will love to see their kids in action
- Important dates: Keep parents informed of what their children are learning about and when.
Ideas for college departments and career centers
There are endless opportunities when it comes to college newsletters due to the diversity of the student population. Advance your newsletter by sharing valuable info that can apply to different sectors of the student body. We’ve got you covered on ideas for your college newsletter.
- Freshmen: Give freshmen the inside scoop on all the exciting things taking place on-campus; include tips on how to study and even an advice section from upperclassmen.
- Writing Center: Throw in top writing tips or advice for students to read and apply in their next essay, this is useful for undergraduates and graduate students. Include the hours of the writing center and how students can make an appointment as well.
- On-campus events: Talk about upcoming concerts, free giveaways, educational forums, fundraisers and other exciting events going around on campus.
- Clubs: Share details about new clubs on campus and how students can join.
- Athletics: Share the athlete of the week, team events/game schedules, and helpful material on collegiate athlete health and wellness. Even include pump-up quotes and tail-gate details to get more students involved in supporting college athletics.
- Alumni: Stay connected with alumni through a creative newsletter that excites them. Invite them to school events and even include a spotlight feature to share their story and successes they've achieved post-college to inspire other students and to build a bridge of communication between undergraduates and alum professionals.
- Career center: Share interviewing tips, job/internship opportunities, job/internship fairs, and insight from professionals to help guide students towards their dream career.
- Department-specific: From psychology to chemical engineering, different academic departments will reach their students in different ways. Include department-related club info to encourage students to join or share a schedule for career planning lunch-in sessions with industry professionals.
Ideas for school districts
Districts have plenty to manage when it comes to keeping a constantly flowing stream of internal and external communications with teachers, students, and parents. Preparing school newsletters to reach each desired audience is overwhelming due to the abundance of content. Check out these ideas to better your school newsletter communications.
- Staff meetings: Schedules and recaps of what was said, or information on new curriculum implementations can be included here.
- Tips: Provide insightful tips that teachers can use and take advantage of, for instance like organizational tips.
- Events: Organize and include info about school supply fundraisers or other initiatives to help equip teachers with the resources they need to be successful OR inform parents with details about the next back to school picnic or community events throughout the year.
- Faculty honor roll: Spotlight teachers or staff that have achieved success inside or outside of the classroom to further their connections with one another.
- Updates: Include info about new changes or happenings with the curriculum or other details that may affect teachers or students.
School newsletters throw a line of communication to teachers, parents, and students to build more of a human-to-human connection amongst such a large body of people. Evaluate your content to provide more value. This will increase your subscribers and that connection you are working towards.Include some of these newsletter ideas in your next email, and remember to:
- Design for mobile
- Keep content to a minimum for each email
- Personalize the information
- Find your email cadence (time, date, frequency)
Design with BEE Pro and apply some of these inspiring ideas to your next school newsletter to better support your community.