CAPSC NOVEMBER MEETING RECAP

 

A summary of the meeting is included below.  For a video of the meeting highlights, please visit here.

CBE Board of Trustees Report

 CAPSC trustee liaison Joy Bowen-Eyre provided the membership with information on three topics:

COSC
Minutes from the October meeting are now posted online.  The CBE is also looking at ways to connect school councils with each other and CAPSC will ensure you are kept informed on this topic.

Alberta Education Act
The Act has been passed.  For more information on the Act please click here.

School Council Survey Results
The feedback received indicated that most councils felt positively regarding CBE's key communicator roles, newsletter, handbook, website and RSS feed.

Communicating with school families

Posted on November 27, 2012 by Robert Hurdman

On November 21, 2012, CAPSC hosted a meeting with the theme of “social media.” A few helpful ideas came up of how school councils could more easily communicate with the families of students.

The school in general and the principal in particular are responsible for following all the CBE’s administrative regulations and, due to protection of privacy, is only permitted to use email addresses for the purpose they were collected. That means the principal may be willing to distribute some messages on behalf of council (e.g. in the school newsletter), but not all. The school council should request emails from parents, maintain their own contact list, and use it only for school council business.

Email

Member Karen V shared that her school provided all parents, at the beginning of the year, with a contact permission form, available from Alberta Education (page 74 of 85, appendix O) at http://education.alberta.ca/media/464094/scm.pdf. The CBE suggests that “council can invite parents or community members to subscribe to a separate Council circulation list, which is not considered a CBE communication channel. Council can make parents aware of this opportunity using CBE communication channels.” (http://www.cbe.ab.ca/Parents/School_Council/pdfs/SchoolCouncilHandbook.pdf, page 3). That is to say, the principal can send a school-wide email or use the newsletter to recommend that parents provide their email address to school council.

It is also a good idea to use attendance forms at school council meetings and other school council events to request email addresses from parents. Some school councils are present on the first day of school and on meet-the-teacher evenings to talk about what they do and recruit new members. This can also be an opportunity to request contact information from parents.

Website or Blog

Email is a great way to get people’s attention, but no one wants to be overwhelmed with incoming emails. For those people who choose not to provide an email address, it might be worthwhile to provide similar information on a website. A blog is a website that’s simple to use and update, that generally shows short messages all on a page, with the newest at the top. The best way to encourage repeat visits is to publish relevant information on a predictable schedule (e.g. every Friday). This can be useful both for reporting on past events and announcing future events.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

These forms of social media can each have a place, although they meet slightly different needs. During our meeting, we learned that Facebook is good for reporting past events, Twitter is good for announcing upcoming events and YouTube is good for making complex information (eg. PAT results) easily digestible with charts and graphs, animations, explanations and music.

In each case, however, schools have found very little interaction. The channels mentioned above are great for keeping people informed, but many parents prefer providing their feedback and ideas through personal contact: school council meetings, face-to-face conversation or over the telephone.

 

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UPCOMING CAPSC MEETING

Please note that CAPSC will not be hosting a meeting in December, however our executive is always interested in what you have to say.  Please make sure to contact us at any time if you have questions, comments or ideas.   Thank you for your continued support!

 

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

The CAPSC executive would like to thank all of our members for a great start to the school year.  We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and look forward to reconnecting in the new year!