Zachary J Baehr

I believe the next big factor to help our families is to put names and faces with grades and activities. Who teaches what grade? Who is the specialist helping in reading? Who is sponsoring the student council this year? Who is coaching the basketball team? 

Many of us can handle the ‘who teaches what grade’ task, but we might struggle a bit after that. While it is nice to have a page or section for each activity or type of activity (athletics, faith, etc.), it is also helpful to have one page that lists the answer to all of these (and then link out to each appropriate group webpage or staff member profile).

People want information. Information is power, and not just the ‘gossip’ power that we wish to shush out, but as the power over their choices for their children. If they know what grade certain activities start, they are able to start making those determinations in the best interest of their family. If they don’t know, they can’t sign up their child, or volunteer, or offer to provide funding. All those things make our schools stronger, too, so when we make it easy for parents to inform themselves, we improve them and us!

Making it easy to find the names and faces of people in various roles are critical in developing trust. It’s not possible to trust an organization because it is not personable. So when people don’t trust an organization, also they say, they really mean they don’t trust someone within that organization, or they don’t know and start to question your transparency or your competence. And nobody wants that!

So part of your brand – what you are known for – needs to be organization and openness. Do you have a reading curriculum sub-group? Tell me who is on it, how often do they meet, tell me 3-5 changes they have incorporated or are researching.

It’s helpful to go beyond the name and the face, and share a little bit about each staff member. Where did they go to school, what degrees do they hold, what roles do they fulfill in the school, and what is their title? Adding things like family and hobbies is not critical, so that is more up to each school.

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