Use a Listserv to Model Technology Use

I read about a principal who used an email listserv to contact parents during the recent fires in California. This sounds like a communication tool I'd like to try. Is it difficult to get started and am I too late for this school year?

A listserv is basically a collection of email addresses that allows you to use one general email address to contact everyone included in the list. While it may be easiest to gather parents' email addresses at the start of the school year when you're collecting updated emergency cards and other information, it's not too late to begin this school year.

Decide how you will use a parent listserv. Will this be another way to distribute school newsletters? Will the listserv use be restricted to important announcements about weather related school closures, to squelch rumors on campus, or other emergencies? Make sure you have a clear plan and that you will be able to follow through on promises made to parents.

Send home a notice about the new parent email list. Include an email address form for parents to return to school, or ask interested parents to send you an email and compile the list electronically.

Once the listserv is ready, send a welcome message to parents and explain again how the list will be used. Then be sure you follow through. This is a great way to communicate with connected parents and an opportunity to model your own use of technology.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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