Communicate and Educate: Tips and Free Tools for Schools

A+ Snapshots

A Long Island, New York, school system uses LISTSERV announcements to share key school district updates with faculty and parents

A school district in Utah offers hundreds of LISTSERV mailing lists, including school- and grade-specific parent communication and teacher lists for specific subjects

A school system in Michigan provides school-specific email lists, including grade-specific ones for middle schools and high schools, plus districtwide lists on topics including special education and transportation

As with colleges and universities, email communication is central to schools' and school systems' daily operations. Although school systems tend to use one-way communication more than discussion groups, there are also many opportunities for two-way channels to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange.

With the newest version, LISTSERV 17.0, it's even easier for schools to create responsive HTML newsletters that are readable on any screen by using the built-in click-and-fill templates. In addition, school systems can now create interactive online blogs where the district administration posts messages and stakeholders can comment and participate in discussions of important educational topics.

Let's take a look at some of the ways local school systems and the schools they encompass are using LISTSERV to keep faculty, staff, parents and communities informed and engaged.

Examples: How LISTSERV Connects Schools, Staff and Parents

Announcements, Newsletters, Blogs

School systems to parents:
Administration news, parent involvement opportunities, emergency alerts, policy updates

School systems to school staff:
Training and professional development opportunities, policy and procedure updates, emergency preparedness

School boards to parents, school staff:
Major curriculum and other policy information, high-level staffing and school board news, school boundary updates

Individual schools to parents:
School events, fundraisers, transportation information, principals’ updates, student group/graduating class/sports team announcements

Individual schools to school staff:
Inter- and cross-departmental announcements, school facility updates, administration, counseling and health center news, staff recognition

Individual educators to students:
Assignments, course materials, Q&A and teacher and peer support

Discussion Forums, Online Communities

School staff:
All-staff, departmental and program/project discussion and collaboration groups

School staff and parents:
Student group/graduating class/sports team discussion

Special program/group announcement and discussion lists (gifted and talented, special needs, etc.), educational advocacy and policy groups

School administration and school staff:
Professional development forums, knowledge and lesson plan sharing, support groups

School administrators:
Leadership discussion forums, event planning groups and issue-specific committee/task force communications

School systems and administrators:
Online forums for discussion and collaboration on policy, curriculum, emergency preparedness, staff training and systemwide initiatives

Next Steps

Schools around the world have been using free NetPals email groups, powered by LISTSERV®, for more than 20 years.

Learn more and request a NetPals email group:

LISTSERV is a registered trademark licensed to L-Soft international, Inc.

See Guidelines for Proper Usage of the LISTSERV Trademark for more details.

All other trademarks, both marked and unmarked, are the property of their respective owners.