Planning and executing communications for a school district requires efficiency and organization—but, you already know that. In honor of Checklist Day on October 30, we want to know what helps you stay on top of it all? Do you use a planner, program, or a sticky note to keep track of your day? In a world where information changes rapidly, accuracy matters, and the almighty checklist can be incredibly helpful in a pinch. It can also be a comfort to know you have a reference point or a tool that you can share with someone else if you need to. Here at Peachjar, we’re all about making your day easier and that doesn’t stop at streamlining messaging to parents. We’ve compiled a few helpful list tips (which may have started as a list on a sticky note) to make sure your year runs seamlessly. And, of course, there’s the all too satisfying feeling of being able to cross items off once they’re complete.
Day-to-Day & Week-to-Week
How do you organize your days and weeks? Do you use a planner, calendar, program, or notes to help you keep everything straight? If you’re looking for new apps to help track your to-dos, check out these options. You may have seen our recent TikTok where Matthew shares some advice he’d gotten about day planning: take the last 5 to 10 minutes of your day and write your must-dos on a sticky note for the next day. Doing this helps to set your intentions for the day ahead, making you even more prepared. At the start of your week, take some time to access what is on the calendar for the week ahead and address any changes from over the weekend. Outline your meetings, events, and necessary action items, giving yourself time to prepare as needed to help make the most of each day. For your weekly plans, keep things high-level, focusing on 3 to 5 items for each day that you need to focus on, allowing for those other duties that will inevitably pop up.
Emergencies happen but you can be prepared. Regardless of the situation, having an emergency plan, made up of a list or several lists, can be helpful. These can be broken down into scenarios with existing protocol: from when to contact other district leaders, school-level leaders, parents, and service providers to ensuring safety. While we hope that emergency plans are never necessary, planning for them and knowing what you need to do and when in the event of an emergency can help to smooth the process so that you can focus on your district and community. If you’re looking for resources on updating emergency plans, NSPRA offers great samples. Because these checklists aren’t used in your typical day-to-day, we recommend taking some time once a year to review these lists and making sure they are still accurate.
School Start and End
Back to school and the end of the school year are incredibly busy times across any school district! From connecting with families and staff, to updating your website, to updating your information with Peachjar. Having your back to school and end of school checklists ready to go eliminates the guesswork of remembering when to send information and who it should go to. Doing this helps to streamline your process at the start and end of the year so you can focus on the excitement happening at your school district. At the close of each process, give these a refresh to reflect any changes for the next time you’ll need these lists.
From brain dumping for the day ahead to being a part of your communications strategy, checklists can help you strike off tasks and stay organized. We have a few just a few here but what are others that you use?