Public school districts all vary in their strengths and weaknesses. Some have the goal of meeting the status quo, while others strike out to make their innovative mark on their communities. Status quo probably won’t answer what communities need, and innovative systems spend a lot of money on new and untested ideas, cutting funds from other services in the process.

One thing that doesn’t cost money but makes a school district top notch is the communication skills of its administrators, teachers, and staff. Having dedicated workers at the front office who are polite and helpful goes a very long way to promoting a good image for a school and its district. Having teachers on staff who are not only talented but empathic and patient with students and parents will have parents rushing to enroll their children in that school.

What is another step schools can take to improve their appeal? Think response time in answering emails, texts, or phone calls.  

It has been my experience that it is typical for teachers to not answer in a timely manner those who contact them (parents or community persons) — or not answer at all. Eventually the parent has to go the school to secure the information they need; school staff in many cases meet the parent’s visit with a “what is it now?” expression and other such non-verbal communications. My question is this: What business would survive with such customer service?

The lack of priority given to quality of communication and response time may be one area that schools can easily “turn around” and improve upon—and by doing so, preserve and foster all the excellent possibilities of their school.