ID-100278237Communication isn’t what it used to be. The average length of written communication is getting progressively shorter… (LOL, TTYL, OMG….! ) while the average length and format of school communications has remained relatively unchanged over the years. What has also gotten shorter is the attention span of parents, their ability to retain information and their preferences for clear, concise and actionable communication, devoid of fluff, color and designs (Twitter has 140 characters and no color, yet it has over a billion users).

But today’s schools aren’t connecting the dots between technology and the plethora of information transfer that occurs almost daily. So they continue to bombard parents with a constant barrage of schedules, notices, newsletters and forms. As a result, schools continue to push parents away, instead of pull them closer as they struggle to find the optimum balance and medium to engage the parents. On one hand, they are reluctant to change their old ways of doing things (paper, paper, more paper, beautiful websites, and 2-5 pages long newsletters which the parents hardly read) and yet are requiring today’s mobile parent to stay engaged with their school at all costs. Parents often take the “Be Brief-Be Gone” approach with school communications (anything more than a few sentences, and they tune out).

Did you know that a school with 50-100 children sends out anywhere between 2,000-5,000 sheets of paper to the parents every year, including incident reports, conferences, permission slips, forms, calendars, newsletters etc.? Isn’t it about time that schools start looking at school notification systems and other technology a little differently to keep the parents engaged and save the trees?