Newsletter Nuisance

What on earth do you include in a paper newsletter when you have a blog and school Facebook page? I struggle with this every month. It actually drives me crazy.

Last year, and the beginning of this year, I tried to get away from sending home a paper newsletter. But it seems like a nice service to provide families. We also use a Google calendar but I still do a paper calendar. It's crazy! I feel like I am over-communicating even though I know there is no such thing.

Ok, I guess I don't know if ALL parents would like a paper copy. I appreciate the paper copies I get from Thing 2's preschool. And the calendar and newsletter are posted on our fridge at home.

So I am starting my "drafting and revising" process that will last all week before I make the final copy and send it home. I even googled "elementary school newsletters" so I could see what other schools include in their newsletters. They are all the same. Maybe not the exact "same" but pretty close.

Does anyone have a newsletter "checklist?" All the processes you check off as you write the paper copy, blog, Facebook??? I can't keep track!

7 comments:

  1. try hiding a contest in it somewhere. Then you know it is REALLY processed.

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  2. Hi, Melinda,
    I feel your pain. Once we moved to our blog for updates, crafting the paper newsletter seemed like time spent doing "more of the same." Why wait until the end of the month to share updates when it can be done immediately via the blog?! I ended up reducing the amount of paper newsletters from monthly to quarterly. A lot of times the content would duplicate that which was already on the blog. Sometimes I'd write about programs such as our new literacy program, do a "bus safety" guidelines reminder, etc. I also would post the finished newsletter to the blog and host on Scribd such as I did here. http://blog.elanco.org/br/2012/10/27/october-bulletin-2/

    I included important dates as well, although like you, my admin. asst. developed a dates of interest page which we copied to the back of the paper newsletter.

    Maybe have students submit articles to include? Or highlights from teachers? Have others contribute each month!

    And, I always include a link to our blog and say, Visit us here! :)

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  3. Cathy - Thanks for the reminder about the contest. We actually did that a few years ago and I forgot. I will have to bring that back.

    Lyn - How on earth are you able to be reading my blog with a newborn? You are my hero! I like the quarterly idea. That way I could include some "extra" like you mentioned about the student articles etc. Thanks for helping me think this through!

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  4. Create a google document, change the sharing settings, send the link to staff and significant contributors (PTA, site council, clubs...). Provide directions and a deadline and watch it build itself. Clean it up then print it.

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  5. Skip - Now that is a good idea! My counselor and PE coach are contributing but the form or doc would be an awesome time saver etc. Next semesters newsletters are looking up! Thanks so much!

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  6. We have multiple people contribute to our monthly newsletter (although I'm liking the quarterly idea). The Principal, AP, Counselor, Art, Music, PE and Media teachers, Lunchroom Manager, PTO President, and Nurse all have a section of the newsletter. The AP (me) puts it all together. Now that all parents have to register their children online, we have e-mail addresses for all of our families. We send a mass e-mail each month. If parents want a hard copy, they just ask. We also have some hard copies available in the front office. And of course, we always link to our school blog.

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  7. Melinda, I had been doing a paper newsletter which went home with reports cards (each six weeks) and the weekly "Friday Memo" for my teachers. I switched cold turkey to a blog for parents and a blog for staff.

    The digital-only approach saved me from doing double-duty. It also gave that gentle nudge that many people needed to get them using technology.

    I also felt like if I produced a blog AND a paper newsletter, I was asking people to go to two different places. I wanted to keep it simple: Read the blog and that's all you need to do to stay informed. Fail to read to read the blog and you miss out.

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