Tupelo schools to offer e-newsletters to parents

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo’s schools are all offering e-newsletters this year in an effort to better communicate with parents.
Parents of students in all K-12 schools can sign up on that school’s website to receive the weekly newsletter in their email. Tupelo High School and Tupelo Middle School have offered e-newsletters in the past, but this is the first time the elementary schools have participated.
When the district adopted its goals earlier this year, one of them called for improving internal and external communication. The newsletters are an attempt to do so.
“In order to maintain accountability to our district goals, our school e-newsletters help to improve communication and foster positive student achievement,” said TPSD Communications Director Kay Bishop.
Teachers said they have seen an impact since schools began issuing the newsletters in August.
“I hear a lot of input from the community that people feel like there is so much more communication than they’ve gotten in the past,” said Rankin Elementary School art teacher Jamie Baker, who compiles her school’s newsletter.
Each school does its newsletter a little differently. Baker gets a report from the department chairs for each of Rankin’s three grade levels and writes an update on each. She also includes a profile about a different teacher in the school and is looking to add new elements as the year progresses.
“I have enjoyed the spotlight because I am learning things about teachers that I never knew,” Baker said. “It is building community.”
Thomas Street’s newsletter is compiled by Aimee Hawkins, the school’s home-school liaison. She uses information from teachers’ pacing guides to provide updates on what lessons and skills students in those grades will be learning during the upcoming week. She also tries to highlight a different teacher or program.
Hawkins noted that students still receive a newsletter from their teachers about what is happening in their classrooms, but this provides information about the entire school.
“It has opened so many doors for communication,” she said. “Most of our parents are working parents and do get emails. It is convenient for them to click on this, and they have their calendar right in front of them.”
Hawkins said the newsletter also is a good place to inform parents about upcoming events.
“It is amazing how much more turnout we’ve had at events because of this,” she said. “It is amazing how much it has increased parent involvement.”
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com