School magazines are the connection between student, teachers and parents. School magazines are the link to the community beyond the school gates. The role of a school magazine is varied, it showcases the work of students, achievements, news and updates, upcoming events, includes advertisements and can even act as a recruitment tool. They celebrate the developments inside and outside of the school, building a community, giving the students a voice, and promoting the school’s values.
Benefits of creating a quality school magazine include boosting the morale of the school, engaging students in literacy, attracting high calibre staff members, making news exciting for students, and interacting with the wider community.
It’s a great way to engage parents in their child’s learning, achievements and development. School magazines can provide a practical way of extending learning beyond the classroom to the home, creating behavioural change and communicating key messages.
In addition to a school magazine, another way you can engage parents in their child’s education is by setting up blogs. As written in The Guardian, the blogs should cover the curriculum and learning activities, as well as recounts of when the students are on school excursions. Parents have responded regularly to these blogs so that there was a dialogue between them and the children.
Teachers can assist children in sharing their school experiences with their parents through the creation of a school magazine, newspaper or blog.
In 10 Ideas for Engaging Parents, educators share their ideas on how they communicate and partner with parents:
“In order to keep parents current on classroom milestones, activities and events, and to meet the technology goals of my students, I have my students create a classroom newspaper,” says high school special education teacher Heather Vanover says. “It consists of topics such as sports schedules, upcoming events like picture day and prom, school news, and classroom topics.”
And, because students write the columns and help produce the newspaper, Vanover doesn’t have to spend much time working on it outside the classroom. The end result is a successful product for parents that shows off their children’s skills while keeping them up-to-date on school happenings.
“Each edition has my contact information and a current report of any classroom issues or rewards,” Vanover says. “It’s a fun way to communicate with parents and publish students’ writing.”
When you’ve put a lot of effort into producing a quality school magazine, you’ll want to show it off. Printing a few extra copies to distribute around local areas can gain more impact for the school – placing copies (with permission) in doctors’ surgeries, real estate agents, local libraries and community centres is a great way to reach the wider community.
Another option is to compile an address book to send school magazines to, once you’ve developed contacts in the community.
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