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Awesome ideas for your school holiday communication

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By Lauren Rouly-White
Dec 20, 2023 10:23:31 AM

It’s that time of year – the start of the holiday season. It’s a compressed time of celebrations, religious observances, shopping, entertaining, travel, and overeating. You have your lists; you’re checking them twice, right?

Now, let's add another task to your holiday to-do list: connecting with your parents, students, staff, and the entire school community. While your students and colleagues may be getting ready for the holiday break, it's important not to shut down your school communications. Instead, take advantage of this time to share information and strengthen relationships. With the help of your school community, you can share helpful tips, fun news, and entertaining photos and videos that will contribute to the success of your school.

To help you get started, I've gathered a few fantastic ideas to consider this month.

Show appreciation for key school personnel

Every corner of your school is filled with individuals who deserve special recognition. From the first grade teacher who has taught multiple generations of families to the slightly eccentric science teacher who knows how to make science not just fun, but a potential career path. And let's not forget about the custodial staff and support professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make your school great.

As the year comes to a close, it's the perfect time to acknowledge and appreciate the "gifts" that these individuals bring to your school. But it's not enough to simply recognize them individually. Take advantage of various communication platforms such as school assemblies, PTO meetings, morning announcements, newsletters, the school website, and social media to spread the word about their contributions. Use the holiday season as an opportunity to show your students, colleagues, parents, and the entire school community how much you appreciate them.

Use multicultural holidays to celebrate your school

The holiday season is a perfect time for schools to embrace multicultural celebrations and foster unity within the entire school community. While it's important to respect the separation of church and state, it's also important to acknowledge and recognize diverse cultures and religions as a unifying gesture that promotes tolerance and understanding.

In addition to the traditional holidays like Christmas (Dec. 25), Hanukkah (Dec. 6-14), and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26 - Jan. 1), it's important to acknowledge other significant holidays such as Mawlid (Dec. 24) and Las Posadas (Dec. 16-24), a significant celebration in Spanish-speaking communities.Holiday Dates - Hanukkah Dec 6-14, Las Pasada Dec 16-24, Malwid Dec 24, Christmas Dec 25, Kwanzaa Dec-Jan 26-1

In some school districts, like one in Arizona, Las Posadas is celebrated with a community-wide event that not only unites the community but also collects food for local food pantries. By embracing and acknowledging these diverse holidays, schools can create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, staff, and parents. It's an opportunity to spread holiday cheer and promote understanding among different cultures and religions.

Chances are your school includes families and students who observe these events. If you want your school communications to be more multicultural, don’t overlook the holidays as a great time to demonstrate that.

Cash in on holiday shopping mindset

Take advantage of the holiday season to tap into the generosity of your parents and staff. Host a Holiday bazaar or Christmas fair to provide an opportunity for parents to find unique gifts while fostering a sense of unity and joy within your school community. Don't forget to involve your PTO to add an extra touch of excitement. Consider combining the fair with a holiday party, where parents can enjoy some festive punch and cookies, creating lasting connections that extend beyond the holiday season.

Check this list twice for holiday-themed fundraising ideas for your school

Think outside the (mail)box 

Don't miss out on the classic holiday tradition of sending greeting cards. However, there's no need to burden the U.S. Postal Service when you can use email instead.

Email remains the most effective way to reach your parents, making it a great option for sending personalized holiday wishes. A simple holiday email greeting from the superintendent or principal, or even a practical message from a teacher, can go a long way in engaging your parents.

Remember to include a link in your email that directs the reader to more content, such as a page on your school website or an invitation to a holiday event. For more tips read our blog article, 10 Steps to Creating School Emails that Reach Parents

Make sure your school ‘socializes’ during the holidays

Keep the spirit of the holiday season alive on your social media platforms just like your favorite Christmas sweater. Make sure to maintain an active presence on Facebook throughout the month and utilize your school's Instagram account to stay connected through captivating pictures. Don't forget to maximize the potential of these channels even during the holiday break by sending out reminders about exciting holiday plays and school activities.

It's also important to keep your school website active during the holidays to provide parents with up-to-date information for their return to school planning.

You can also get some ideas from my friend , Andrea Gribble, at SocialSchool4edu. She just shared with us several ways to ramp up your social media presence in our recent webinar, Supercharge Your School's Social Media in a Snap!

More ways to connect during the holidays...

The holiday season is a time for joy and laughter, allowing us to embrace fun and lightheartedness that may not be as prevalent during the rest of the year. Do you have any ideas to share on how to make the most of this festive season and effectively connect with your parents, students, staff, and community?


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Topics: Communication School Districts Private schools Social media

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About the author

Lauren Rouly-White is a dedicated educator-turned-techie who has extensive experience in curriculum development, training, and instructional design. Currently, she manages customer success at SchoolNow, where she helps school communicators and administrators improve parent engagement through digital communication. Find her on social media at @laurenroulywhite