ClassTag Hacks / Feb 03, 2017

Getting Started with ClassTag: Your Recipe for Success

So, you finally took the leap and signed up for this amazing tool that promises to simplify communication and increase parent engagement. Generating automated emails that keep parents updated, without lifting a finger? For free? It’s almost too good to be true ;-).

Your new communication system is full of promise, but kind of… empty. Parents have no idea what’s coming. Will they know how to use it? Will they read the emails?

If you’re new to ClassTag, or haven’t been utilizing it to its full potential, this is your recipe for success.

Essential Ingredients for Succeeding with ClassTag

1. Reaching 100% of the parents

Asking parents to get on board a new system is always an effort, but ClassTag has one major advantage. With ClassTag, you can replace multiple tools you’ve been using in the past, so parents have one destination for all communication and scheduling. It really makes things easier in the long run!

It is a sign up genius, calendar, and class website all in one!” – Beth, a 4th grade teacher

Get started by going to your Directory tab and creating a list of your students on ClassTag. Once all of the students are added, there are 3 ways to invite parents:

– cut and paste student names and parent emails
– enter manually
– print flyers with individual codes to join.

It’s likely that you’ll use a combination of these methods to reach 100% of the parents, but it’s best to start with email invites. You can find a quick video on our help page to get more details.

Pro Tip: Email is the quickest, paperless option to connect with everyone. Besides, once parents’ emails have been added, they will be receiving all of your communications, even if they haven’t joined your class on ClassTag yet. No parent is left behind, even if they take a while to actually join your class.

2. Sending consistent updates

In our most successful classrooms, teachers send at least one update per week.

You can post your first Announcement directly from your dashboard:

You also have several Activity types to choose from:

  • Events
  • Volunteer Requests
  • To-Do Items
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences

Pro Tip: To help you keep parents in the loop, we created something very special -  the Weekly Summary. It’s an automated parent newsletter with all the upcoming activities every week. Even though it’s automated, you have plenty of options to customize it and make it your own. You can choose what day and time your weekly summary is sent in your weekly summary tab. You can also add a custom message to parents or skip that, knowing that they will still receive an update – without you lifting a finger!

I used Class Dojo and Remind.  I changed to ClassTag because I love that it sends automatic reminders.  I also love the weekly newsletters.  The biggest benefit is that parents will still receive emails, even if they haven’t registered.” – Victoria,4th-grade teacher

3. Meaningful communication

Teachers often tell us that they want to stay in touch with parents, but aren’t sure what kind of messages to share.

Having both Announcements and Activities at your disposal, you can start by establishing baseline communication. Use ClassTag for essential notifications, requesting volunteers and setting to-dos.

If you want to deepen your relationships with parents, there are many more meaningful messages you can share.

  • Share frequent positive messages, celebrating child’s successes to build trust over time.
  • Keep parents in the loop about key “lightbulb moments” from the classroom and encourage families to create learning moments outside school.
  • Share a photo or a heart-warming story to help parents feel connected to their child’s experiences.
  • Explaining why it’s important to work together, for example by saying: “by attending school events, you show your child you value education”.

“I wanted a way to safely post pictures and information about my class and learning activities. With ClassTag, more parents are signing up and I am more willing to plan fun events because parents are more likely to donate materials and their time. We are learning with more support and investment from parents.” – Megan, 1st grade teacher

Pro Tip: Need more ideas? Explore these common “communication scenarios” and see how ClassTag can help you simplify communication. If you need help setting up your school or classroom make sure to check out our helpful resource.

Are you ready to get started with ClassTag now? Remember that additional help is always available – you can have a browse through the help section or reach a team member directly from your dashboard. Reaching 100% of parents takes work, but it’s possible – and the results are worth it! Just look at this success story of one of ClassTag teachers, Leslie (click here to read more). 




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