A few schools that are in the process of reopening have provided some insights. Change is not always welcomed but, in this situation, everyone understands that change is necessary.
Lessons learned from these schools include the following insights on how to structure and deliver communication:
state what you know
do not speculate
must be a trusted voice
Outline the impact to the community and staff:
be specific on what is impacted such as entry, staggered entry, limits on class size, cleaning, behavior like social distancing, etc.
the school needs to be nimble and flexible adapting to the situation when moving forward
Describe what the school is doing to respond:
update early and often to create positive voices
provide updates on what is happening to give peace of mind / provide confidence
result is positive word of mouth
Respond to frustrated parents:
generally the community is positive and support
there will be issues or concerns to handle so do so directly and empathetically
provide clear messages on what the school is doing
Suggest what the community can do to help:
highlight we are all in this together
community needs to be supportive and constructive while the school needs to be nimble
Determine which channel to use:
there are many channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Intranet, push notifications, etc.
each channel should have a purpose and target
do not push everything in every channel