I have 3 children and my youngest started school in 2010. That first year of kindergarten was over-whelming. The first week of school I was bombarded with information… all coming to me on paper. Having a new born baby and a toddler at home, I usually didn’t get around to looking at notices until after the kids were in bed But by then I had misplaced the papers. Paper notices was not working for me.
Why not use the school website? Although most schools have their own website, not many of them keep track of all notices. Most school websites only have a single page for important documents. The school secretary is too busy to be updating the school website daily and the websites aren’t really set up for school PAC anyways. I decided that our school needed its own website and I was going to make it happen.
I spent 5 years developing a website that included many useful features such as a mailing list, email directory, online student directory, online payments, calendar of events, online volunteer and donation forms, and even a family account where parents could log in and manage all of their information from one place. I decided to take that website and turn it into a WordPress theme and plugins to allow other schools to take control of their website.
Not all schools need this much information. But there are two main areas that a PAC website should focus on.
Communication is so important to a successful PAC. Parents cannot volunteer or participate if they do not know what is going on at the school. Here are some ways to better communicate information:
- Mailing lists where users manage their subscription.
- Fixed emails so PAC email addresses don’t change.
- Contact forms to send emails from any online device.
By having the information readily available and accessible 24/7, it gives parents the flexibility of reading through it on their schedule. Emails can easily get buried or deleted so have your information online and organize it so parents can find what they need. Below are the sections that I like to use:
- discover PAC – information about members, meetings, bylaws, etc
- get INVOLVED – programs and events that require parent volunteers
- raise FUNDS – what we are fundraising for and how we plan to achieve our goals
- stay INFORMED – mailing list subscription form, notices, announcements, calendar of events