Now that nearly everything is online, it may seem like your school doesn’t have much to write about in its weekly or monthly newsletter. However, while there may be less going on these days, there is still plenty of inspiration to be found for your newsletter. With a little creativity, you can make your school’s newsletter more exciting now, during Distance Learning, than it ever has been!
If, in your next newsletter, you include all 6 of the key topics featured below, your result will be a charming, informative, and well-rounded email newsletter. Doing this will keep your readers engaged and encourage them to look forward to the next one.
1. HIGHLIGHT CURRENT AND UPCOMING SCHOOL EVENTS.
You probably are already featuring events in your school’s newsletter. However, it’s important to mention here not only because it’s the most crucial topic, but also because it’s the one that most likely needs a makeover. You can spice up your events section by including an image, like a visually appealing and color-coded calendar snippet. This will help you encourage participation by making your school’s activities seem even more appealing. By expressing your own excitement for your school’s events, you will also build a stronger connection to your newsletter’s readers – it will show students that school is much more than education and that it is also about personal development and companionship.
2. PEPPER IN SHOUTOUTS, THANK YOU’S, “HEARD ON ZOOM,” AND OTHER SHORT BLURBS.
You can variate your school’s newsletter even further by adding in short blurbs throughout that are always different. These blurbs can come in the form of shoutouts to teachers that did something unique or special in their class, to students that achieved something remarkable, or to administrators that implemented something innovative at your school. These blurbs can also be thank you’s to parents who’ve gone above and beyond in Distance Learning, to show your appreciation for their increased involvement under the current circumstances. Finally, you can also include funny or silly quotes that were “Heard on Zoom” throughout the week or month. Ask teachers to send you notable quotes from their students and pepper these in to add a pop of flair and fun to your newsletter. Readers will look forward to seeing the new “Heard on Zoom” quotes each time you send out your newsletter, and by scattering them in throughout, they’ll be more likely to read through the whole thing!
3. SHARE A “LETTER FROM LEADERSHIP.”
This topic is an excellent way to incorporate your school’s voice of leadership without requiring an entirely separate newsletter. This letter can be included in the form of a document screenshot, the writing on which should be kept brief, or it can be written in the actual newsletter with a link to “read more.” This way, your school’s principal or district superintendent can be a part of your weekly or monthly update, and parents don’t have to look anywhere else to read a message from your school’s leadership. Including this letter will also make your newsletter well-rounded, as it provides a more serious element.
4. FEATURE YOUR COMMUNITY’S RECENT INVOLVEMENTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
Your community is a great source for content if you run out of exciting things involving your school specifically. By taking the time to highlight members of your community in your newsletter, you will create connections between your school and its supporters, and you will certainly never run out of people to celebrate! No matter how big or small, your community is filled with students, parents, teachers, and other faculty members who are engaged in interesting and important activities and organizations outside of your school. One example for this topic is including an alumni spotlight in which you feature notable alumni. Right now, you could focus on alumni who are now essential workers to thank them for their COVID-19 related community service. Or, if someone in your school’s community wins an award, you can use this section to cover that. You can also highlight various nonprofit organizations in your community and the students, teachers, or staff that are involved with them. You can share the feature directly in your newsletter and then link back to your website. If you also share these featured stories on social media, you can link directly to your social media posts too. Doing this will help readers find your social media channels and increase your followings as an added benefit!
5. CREATE A “KINDNESS CORNER.”
A Kindness Corner is another unique and fun feature that you can add to your school newsletter. You can use this section to highlight acts of kindness that have been performed by students and staff throughout the week or month. You can foster a strong sense of community within your school by showcasing acts of kindness like mailing a letter to a friend, contributing to a local fundraiser, or tutoring a peer. As important as it is to encourage kids to be good students, it is similarly vital to promote compassion and goodwill through small acts of kindness. The prospect of being featured in the Kindness Corner of your newsletter will hopefully create an extra incentive for your school’s community to do nice things for others.
6. LINK TO RELEVANT BLOG POSTS AND ARTICLES.
If your school has its own blog, then great! Make sure to link your most recent or relevant blog posts within each newsletter. That being said, even if your school doesn’t have a blog, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still incorporate noteworthy blog posts or articles in your newsletter. You can share content from reputable sources that you know your community will find interesting. This is a good idea, because it can help make you a trusted resource and add another more serious element to your school’s newsletter. In terms of articles, you can include timely news pieces that you would like to bring to your community’s attention. Alternatively, you can use this section to share positive news and celebrate the good happening in the world. Consider using this topic as a chance to provide a ray of light to your readers amidst these difficult times. Simply sharing some articles of nice things happening at your school and or in your local community could be just what your newsletter’s recipients need to brighten their day! This, in turn, will hopefully keep them coming back to your newsletters each time they’re sent out.
If you incorporate all 6 of these key topics into your next newsletter, you will be sure to captivate your school’s parents, teachers, staff, and stakeholders. There should always be a healthy balance of fun and seriousness in your newsletter, so by blending these sections together, you will create the perfect newsletter format for your readers to enjoy. Your audience will find the newsletter that follows this guide to be both entertaining and informative, and therefore, they will be more likely to read through the whole thing each time it is sent out. With that said, it’s now time for you to go and try out these 6 topics in your own newsletter!
Caroline Baetkey contributed to this article.