Communication, the key to a good relationship. I found this snippet when I Googled ‘communication and relationships’ – Good communication is an important part of all relationships and is an essential part of any healthy partnership. All relationships have ups and downs, but a healthy communication style can make it easier to deal with conflict, and build a stronger and healthier partnership.
In our context, we have relationships with our colleagues, children, parents and external agencies. We talk of the partnership between home and school. These partnerships flourish when there is effective communication flowing both ways.
The latest buzz word for communication is ‘comms’, as in what are the comms for this, or the comms must be working. So what are the comms around Victoria Avenue School?
Our main comms goes through the newsletter. This contains everything parents need to know about what is ‘on top’ and what is coming up. We also use the VAS app to push notifications out. Our Facebook page showcases things happening around the school, sort of ‘human interest’ stories. We also send emails out to parents as required.
So what is the line between pushing out the comms and people availing themselves of the comms? I sometimes get emails from parents asking when something is going to happen. I know that the information has been in the newsletter which they obviously haven’t read. Is that my responsibility or is it the parent’s responsibility? We can send it via email as well as put it on our website as well as hold hard copies in the office but some parents don’t understand that this is our main method of communicating. Should we be criticised for not communicating enough? Should we take the main ‘take outs’ from the newsletter and send those in a separate email?
How much do we need to send out? How much is too much and how much is not enough? This is a real conundrum. I get so many annoying emails in my private email inbox (yes I have tried unsubscribing but it hasn’t worked) and I never read them, I just delete them. We never want to get to the stage of sending out too many emails because then the importance of any email from the school gets watered down. Conversely, we don’t want to leave people in the dark either.
After receiving feedback that parents didn’t know what the money raised through PTS events was going to be used for, the board have been working with the PTS to improve our comms. We continue to work on this to improve.
The irony of my column today is that those of you reading it, aren’t my target audience! However, I would appreciate your feedback about our level of comms – ie too much / not enough as well as your constructive suggestions. Please don’t bombard me with complaints! I am wanting to know what you think in order that we continually improve in order to have a strong home – school partnership based on effective communication. Please email me your thoughts.
If you wish us to take any information into consideration as we form classes, please email me. It may be a request to separate your child from another child. Please note that we do not accept any requests for specific teachers. Please email your thoughts by 23 November. It is almost impossible to make any changes once all families have been notified about the class their child will be in for 2019.
Parent – child – teacher triadics are being held on 28, 29 November. You will receive an email in a couple of weeks giving you the access code to book a time.
We have been notified by the NZEI, the teachers’ union, that the Auckland strike day is 12 November. We have no say in whether our teachers strike or what date as it is a union directive. As a result, the board actually can’t do anything but comply. The board has no choice but to close the school as there will not be enough staff at school to supervise children.