Excellence in education through exceptional school board governance

Communications now

100 plus communications tips for school boards and schools

These tip sheets are available through the ASBA office. Take a look at the list, make a note of the topic, month and year published and contact Noreen Pownall to order a copy.

2017

May

  • Sample Graduation Speeches
  • Tips and Tricks of Hashtagging
  • Maintaining your PR policies
  • How to communicate about stranger danger incidents.
  • In Weblinks – Minister’s Youth Council

April

  • Old and new communication trends valuable for education
  • Why you should build networks, and how to do it
  • Connect and build support through storytelling.
  • Thinking about running for school board? Thank you!
  • In Weblinks – World Health Day

March

  • Using focus groups to strengthen your work
  • Community engagement builds support for education
  • Responding well to criticism and confrontation
  • Communication tips… if a staff member is ever arrested
  • The importance of staff recognition
  • Weblinks – Shakespeare selfie-writing challenge

February

  • How a budget document can help or hurt your school jurisdiction brand
  • Advice that really clicks: How to embed online details
  • Aligning student discipline practices with school values
  • Celebrating school board trustees
  • In Weblinks – Pink Shirt Day

2016

December

  • Content for your website and social media
  • Ten tips for developing good email habits
  • Tips for writing a strong and successful grant application – Part 2
  • Communicating about late start/early release days
  • Weblinks – Autism Conference in January

November

  • Keep current with your communication tools
  • Designing websites for schools
  • Tips for writing a strong and successful grant application – Part 1
  • A communications professional – a valuable team member
  • In Weblinks – Remembrance Day – Veterans Week

October

  • Effective social media on a tight budget
  • Expand your audience by adding video to your communication toolkit
  • Know your audience before you communicate
  • Marketing or public relations: which is more important
  • Weblinks – World Teacher’s Day

September

  • Is it time to update your emergency plan
  • Back-to-school safety communications
  • Understanding copyright rules
  • Communicating through transitions
  • Planning an event, initiative or special project
  • Weblinks – Inspiration Awards

June

  • How to write and give a compelling graduation speech
  • Planning an effective new staff orientation
  • Communicate proactively with your community
  • Parent letter templates
  • In Weblinks – Wheel Week

May

  • Plan to start off the new school year right with new employee breakfasts
  • The importance of having a communications plan
  • Build trust and credibility by making first impressions count
  • Share good news to build support… in and out of your division
  • In Weblinks – Education Week

April

  • How to set up and use social networks to promote your jurisdiction
  • The Power of networking for school leaders
  • Hiring and retaining qualified candidates
  • Sample graduation speech: “Pay it forward”
  • Weblinks – Science Odyssey

March

  • Join the infographics revolution
  • How to know which communication tool to use, and when?
  • Translate jargon into language your audience will understand
  • Six steps to building consensus
  • In Weblinks – Shakespeare Selfie Challenge

February

  • Develop a strategic communications plan to reach your goals
  • Tips for making your writing more readable
  • What parents want from good school communications
  • Communicating with diverse families
  • In Weblinks – Pink Shirt Day

2015

December/January

Feature article: Hold an open house for calm and fair public involvement (PDF–195K)

  • Hold an open house for calm and fair public involvement
  • Rebranding your school to improve public perceptions and increase enrolment
  • Creating a successful social media policy
  • Think outside the box to engage volunteers
  • Weblinks – Winter Walk Day

November

Feature article: Community engagement case study: 40 Assets (PDF–179K)

  • Community engagement case study: 40 Assets
  • Making parent engagement effective in a 24/7 world
  • Using social media to communicate effectively
  • Tapping into the power of students as public relations ambassadors
  • Weblinks – Annual “Great Kids Awards” nominations open

October

Feature article: Engage your public through a ‘listening session’ (PDF–140K)

  • Engage your public through a ‘listening session’
  • Shaping and developing strong messages
  • Learning to delegate effectively
  • How to work effectively with a communications contractor
  • Weblinks – National Bullying Awareness Week

September

Feature article: “Flat Doug” shares Fort Mac Public stories on Twitter (PDF–147K)

  • Make the back-to-school experience warm and welcoming
  • How to motivate staff
  • Breath new life into your website
  • Weblinks – Alberta Culture Days

June

Feature article: Why a printed newsletter is a useful tool (PDF–137K)

  • School board engages community to find niche for its two high schools
  • Working with the media to tell your story
  • Why a printed newsletter is a useful tool
  • Tips for dealing with cyber bullying
  • Weblinks – Wheel Week

May

Feature article: Student voice getting stronger in Northern Gateway School (PDF–124K)

  • Student voice getting stronger in Northern Gateway Schools
  • Brand journalism
  • A crisis: How to communicate with parents before, during and after
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Radio: an important communication tool
  • Graduation speech 2015
  • Weblinks – Education Week

April

  • How to engage your community about your 2015-16 budget
  • Quick and easy annual PR check-up
  • Communications inventory checklist for central office staff
  • Communications inventory checklist for school staff
  • Weblinks -“Shakespeare Selfie” youth writing challenge

March

Feature article: How to establish rapport with your new reporter (PDF–133K)

  • Tips for getting the public to attend your public meetings
  • Being sensitive to cultural differences
  • Establishing rapport with your new reporter
  • Tips for strengthening your volunteer program
  • Weblinks – “Shakespeare Selfie” youth writing challenge

February

Feature article: Easy ways to establish two-way communications (PDF–127K)

  • Engagement project = over 80 % reporting Living Waters Catholic schools are welcoming places
  • Creating institutional change
  • Media tips for school board trustees
  • Teacher features: a tool to build positive ‘relationships
  • Using two-way communication to connect with parents
  • Communicating with diverse families
  • Weblinks – Pink Shirt Day

2014

December

  • Developing a community crisis communications plan
  • Tips for the 1-person PR shop
  • Learning what your audience thinks
  • Building parent partnerships
  • Weblinks – Indigenous Shining Student Award

November

  • Wild Rose School Division uses online survey tool to engage staff
  • Getting the best use from your phone dialer system
  • Working with realtors as key communicators
  • Partnering with your business community
  • Weblinks – National bullying awareness week

October

  • Westwind School Division’s key communicator network engages community members
  • Minister’s student advisory council
  • Communications support for new principals
  • Writing clearly
  • Recruiting and retaining volunteers
  • Tapping the strengths of staff members who are introverts
  • Weblinks – Family Violence Prevention Month

September

  • Using FAQ’s to your advantage
  • The value of a good spokesperson
  • Make your school a welcoming place
  • Partnerships that make a difference
  • Weblinks – Canada Democracy Week

June

  • Decade of student engagement brings solid insights to St. Albert Public trustees
  • Making a good first impression with your new superintendent
  • Helping students become engaged citizens
  • Maximize the power of your vision statement
  • Help parents help their children succeed in school
  • Key dates for school calendars in 14’-15’
  • Weblinks – SUNIA summer camp

May

  • Using public engagement to hire a new Superintendent
  • Write media releases that get noticed
  • Grad speech
  • Prevent panic about communicable disease at your school
  • Sample crisis letters for student death
  • Weblinks – Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards

April

  • Focus groups: Benefits and how to run one
  • Why and how to involve public when developing board policy
  • Get to know the over-60 crowd in your community
  • Letter templates for lock-downs etc
  • Weblinks – Canada Writes Competition

March

  • Pembina Hills engages community to tackle declining enrolment
  • Encouraging leadership in your staff
  • Six tips for better customer servicening
  • The school secretary: A frontline ambassador
  • School jurisdictions: There’s an app for that
  • Facebook tips from a school principal
  • Weblinks –Shining Star award for Aboriginal students

February

  • Elk Island Catholic Schools goes online to talk with community
  • 8 steps to developing a vision with your community
  • Community surveys Audience-driven communication planning
  • Real life tragedies showcase importance of crisis communication
  • Engaging public during legal issues
  • 13 amazing apps for administrators
  • Weblinks – Child Development Professional Awards of Excellence

 2013

December

  • Students lead creation of Sturgeon’s new vision, mission and values
  • Surveying to gauge and build support
  • Media relations 101
  • Social media = community outreach
  • How to showcase students
  • Weblinks – “Think Globally” Art contest

November

  • Positive response to online engagement in Red Deer Catholic
  • Use content to tell your story
  • Listening to your community with limited resources
  • Use survey data to build an effective communications plan
  • Use social media for professional development
  • Weblinks –International education week

October

  • How to host a town hall meeting
  • Working with volunteers
  • Communicating with volunteers
  • Use board meetings to celebrate success
  • Tips for welcoming multilingual families to your school
  • Weblinks – International education week

September

  • Successful first community-school forum for Ecole Heritage
  • Content to engage your audience
  • Effective media releases
  • Back to school communications check-up
  • Watch your words
  • Weblinks – Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards

June

  • Using Facebook to engage audiences
  • A painless approach to setting attendance boundaries
  • New superintendent? Here’s an entry plan to build trust
  • Video contest gets students talking about their school
  • Weblinks – Summer United Nations Camp

May

  • Chinook’s Edge engages teachers
  • Annual report: Make it work for you
  • Social media marketing basics
  • Use testimonials to strengthen your image
  • Sample emergency letters to parents
  • Weblinks – Education Week

March

  • Social media and your jurisdiction
  • New govt. initiative helps parents keep kids safe on the Internet
  • How to pitch your story to media
  • Graduation speech template
  • Dates for the 2013-14 school year
  • Weblinks – New scholarship funds available

February

  • Talking to students: community engagement in St. Albert Public
  • Naming a school? Get the community involved
  • Is your jurisdiction ready to go paperless?
  • A Q&A approach to communicating with staff
  • Communicating about school safety
  • Weblinks – Be recognized for your high school’s green efforts

January

  • Public engagement paves way to smooth restructuring for Calgary Catholic
  • How to handle closing schools
  • Talking about your budget process: a plan
  • Communicating complex information
  • Keeping staff in the loop in the electronic age
  • Weblinks –Emeralds Award nomination deadline

 2012

November

  • AB school boards committed to community engagement: study
  • Realigning attendance boundaries? Check out Red Deer Public’s engagement process
  • Transparent communication builds community trust
  • Enlist staff to tell your budget story
  • School public relations is a team sport
  • Storytelling: An effective PR tool
  • Tips for hiring a contract communications consultant
  • Weblinks – An Anti-cyberbullying webcast Bullying Awareness Week

October

  • Good customer service for schools
  • RACE to plan communications
  • Trustees’ role in developing relationships with local media
  • Making press releases relevant
  • Responding to false allegations in the media
  • Weblinks –Video PSAs celebrate Alberta school community health champs

September

  • Board’s online discussion doubles community response to engagement
  • Social media changes school communication
  • How to “chunk” content for easier reading
  • A sample e-mail newsletter for staff
  • Plans to succeed: Learning pledges for parents, student and staff
  • Invite people to school: Build community support
  • Weblinks – Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards

June

  • Public Relations basics for principals
  • Got a grad speech: 8 tips for principals
  • Sample grad speeches
  • Key dates to include in school calendar
  • Weblinks – Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards

February

  • How one principal uses Twitter
  • Understanding and motivating volunteers
  • Valuing volunteers
  • Weblinks – Celebrate environmental excellence in Alberta

January

  • Tips for creating budget information
  • Supporting children who are in difficult financial circumstances
  • Engaging families to help at risk high school students
  • Is your communications program working
  • Weblinks – Family Literacy Day

2011

November/December

  • How to handle criticism
  • Branding your school Jurisdiction
  • Using social media to build support and trust
  • Weblinks –International Education Week

October

  • Communicating about bullying
  • Getting your community involved in your budget process
  • Community engagement
  • Developing and delivering effective messages
  • Eight ground rules when working with reporters
  • Weblinks – National Science and Technology Week

September

  • International Education Week 2011
  • Understanding the digital generation
  • How to write key messages
  • Using a blog to tell your school’s story
  • Students as communicators
  • Working with volunteers
  • 10 barriers to parental engagement
  • Weblinks – Alberta Art Days

June

  • Hostile audiences
  • Talking to students about online communication
  • Tips for students using social media
  • Weblinks –New online tool available for educators to help kids with allergies

May

  • Teach your parents well
  • Establish a key communicator network
  • Evaluating/updating your website
  • Back-to-school letters
  • Weblinks – Education week

April

  • Start planning for Education Week
  • There is no “general” public
  • Communicating with non-parents
  • Sample letters to invite
  • Weblinks – Education Week

March

  • Responding to a crisis
  • What to write to parents in an emergency
  • 15 lessons education can learn from restaurants
  • Sample graduation speech
  • Weblinks – Audition for CBC’s Dragon Den

February

  • Communications plans for schools and school boards
  • Communications planning for the jurisdiction with PR person
  • How staff affect your school/jurisdiction’s reputation
  • Weblinks – Environmental excellence awards information

January

  • Involving community members in your budget process
  • What can trustees do to improve communications?
  • Using conversations to improve high school completion rates
  • Communicating about online learning opportunities for students
  • Weblinks – “Speak Out”

2010

November/December

  • Coping with pressure groups
  • Inspiring turn-around tales from three jurisdictions
  • Serving on school board: Big job little recognition
  • Strategies for saluting school boards
  • Communicating about inclement weather
  • Weblinks –Bullying Awareness Week

October

  • Keeping your budget front of mind for your audiences
  • Social media do’s and don’ts for trustees
  • Developing social media policies
  • Dealing with personal technology in the classroom
  • Weblinks – Fire Prevention Week

August/September

  • ASBA supports school board efforts to promote school board elections
  • Tips for trustees when responding to sensitive issues
  • Get parents involved to improve student academic progress
  • Getting people to read your school newsletter
  • Emergency plan helps jurisdiction prepare for the unthinkable
  • Helping people see the advantages of using social media
  • Make student drives a community affair
  • Weblinks – New public engagement award; Fire Prevention Week; World Teachers’ Day

Summer

  • Tips and key messages for communicating about cutbacks
  • How to connect with GenX parents
  • Superintendents using Twitter
  • Back to school package – what to include
  • Communicating about student safety to and from school
  • Weblinks- Alberta Bike to School Day

May

  • Make conflict work for you
  • Making the most of Internet video calls and conferencing
  • Does your website measure up?
  • Seven low cost communication strategies
  • Weblinks–Great Kids Awards deadline June 14

April

  • Reporting budget data effectively
  • Producing a year-end report on a shoestring
  • Communicating about predators
  • Involve non-parents in keeping kids safe
  • Weblinks–Education week April 25 to May 1

March

  • Explaining how staffing impacts school board budgets
  • Strengthening staff and community connections
  • A sample graduation speech
  • Weblinks–Surfing the internet safely

February

  • Communicating budget cuts to the community
  • Communicating student conduct expectations
  • Connecting with non-parents
  • Recognizing staff for their work
  • Weblinks–Celebrating environmental excellence

January

  • Using internal communication strengthen your reputation
  • Using facebook to engage the public
  • Explaining the importance of nutrition and active living
  • Web links–Making the most of the Olympics

2009

November/December

  • Responding to rumors in an age of instant communication
  • Preparing for a public relations crisis
  • Using a gold-mining format to collect feedback
  • Setting up a key communicator network
  • Tell your school’s story through pictures
  • Web links – ASBA toolkit

October

  • How to listen to your community
  • 8 basic listening skills
  • Host a successful meeting
  • Working with afterschool programs
  • Connecting with religious organizations
  • Get ready for H1N1
  • Web links – Get free refurbished computers

September

  • What is Twitter?
  • A glossary of Twitter terms
  • Start the year off right! Make a great first impression
  • What your phone answering system says about your school
  • Is your child old enough to use social networking, cell phones and more
  • Web links – World teacher’s day

Summer

  • How to show you care
  • Help staff be ambassadors
  • Workshop template
  • Public relations basics
  • 10 tips for staff
  • Plan a back-to-school event
  • Web links – Aboriginal day

May

  • Surveys to help you find out what your community thinks
  • Checklist of basic survey steps
  • How to use text messaging
  • Planning effective board retreats
  • Communicating board goals
  • Web links – Cyber safety

April

  • Collecting information about students at your school
  • User-friendly student handbook
  • Preventing summer learning loss
  • Keeping in touch over the summer
  • Web links – Earth Day

March

  • Be sensitive to different family configurations
  • Sample graduation speech
  • Aboriginal youth action project links global issues with community needs
  • Web links – Education Week

February

  • Dealing with book protests
  • Understanding Social Media
  • Turning parents into mathematics partners
  • Web links – ASBA wants more public involvement in public education

January

  • Defining the roles and responsibilities of the school board and superintendent
  • Explaining school safety rules
  • Demonstrating the belief that all kids can learn
  • Welcoming parents as partners in education
  • Web links – Technology in the classroom
Top