With the end of the school year in sight, many educators are preparing for the upcoming prom and graduation season. These days, parents are often using text messages and mobile devices to keep in touch with their children throughout the day. Not surprisingly, district and schools leaders have taken to utilizing similar methods to reach out to parents and students during this exciting and busy time.
Just as we demonstrated in our recent post on spring break messaging, Blackboard Connect is a useful tool in helping schools communicate with parents, sending targeted phone calls, emails and text messages. As schools prepare and organize end-of-the-year events, Blackboard Connect can be a valuable tool to keep parents and students aware and informed.
For large districts, graduation events require skillful coordination and organization due to large graduating classes. Schools sending emails with graduation event locations, times and other logistical information like available parking and pre-ceremony assemblies. In the Washoe County School District, leaders at the TMCC Magnet High school are using Connect to send messages to students asking for volunteers to speak or provide talent at this year’s graduation ceremony.
During the event, schools can send text messages to designated, pre-determined groups to help ensure students arrive on time and at the proper location.
2. Fundraising and ticket sales
At many schools, attending prom requires the purchase of tickets, as the proceeds help pay for the event. Depending on the size of the graduating class and the available seating at the ceremony, some senior graduation ceremonies also require guests to purchase or request tickets to accommodate attendees. To remind parents and students of deadlines to purchase tickets, many schools are using Connect to send messages with pricing information and availability.
Sometimes ticket sales alone are not enough to cover the costs of end-of-the-year events, and other additional events or fundraisers are organized to help raise money to be contributed to prom and graduation events. For example, in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, the booster club is hosting a raffle for junior and senior students to win a pre-prom dinner at a nearby French restaurant. Using Connect, administrators are sending emails to parents and student with contest information and raffle ticket prices.
3. Volunteers and participation
To successfully host such events, schools often need willing and able bodies to help organize and execute activities. Recruiting volunteers is one thing, but keeping them informed and coordinated can be quite another. Some schools are using Connect to do both by sending messages calling for parent or faculty volunteers, and organizing group lists to distribute messages to specified individuals during the events.
If volunteering time isn’t an option for some parents, some schools are asking for donations to help with the planning process. At Chardon High School, for example, the student-led prom committee is using Connect to email parents asking them to share pictures of their students for a slideshow to be displayed during the event.
Graduation and prom are both exciting, highly-anticipated events for high school students. With the excitement, though, many students may be tempted to abuse drugs or alcohol. In preparing for the events, it is worthwhile to remind students of the appropriate conduct and expectations when participating in school-sponsored activities. At St. Charles North High, school leaders are using Connect to call and remind students of the mandatory guidelines to follow for this year’s prom and asked students to sign and return a ‘letter of understanding’ acknowledging and agreeing to the terms.
To learn more about how you can use Blackboard Connect to communicate in your school or district, visit the website.