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Posted: Jun 23, 2008 14:30

SCHOOLS BENEFIT WHEN THEIR PARENTS THRIVE

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By Randall Cook

Everyone knows a website is needed for an optimal operation of a School in today's technological age. The main purpose for the first step in utilizing a website is information and marketing.

Having taken that giant step forward by having an active website, the next step for Schools is to use online services to bring the parents of their students into the school community! Moving in this direction enables a school to make the web the optimal platform for their School and to spotlight their results.

By developing a customized private, secure online Community through a discussion board or similar arrangement, their families have a way to support one another. Through knowledge and no longer being isolated, they will better be able to support the School their child attends. Schools that have taken this step to developing online communities report outstanding benefits.

The following areas are what schools with online parent communities are reporting, along with solidifying and strengthening their families' loyalty and support.

SERVICE-80% of U.S. adults now are online, which accounts for most admissions originating online. Schools that have powerful online Parent Resources are the next chapter in parent service. An effectively operated online parent resource will highlight a school's reputation as a family-friendly school.

INTERACTION-Students and Staff certainly keep each other busy all day long. In contrast, the parents are at home, at work or in their community with little, if any, support system of anyone who truly understands what they are experiencing. They need their school to open up its doors to them. They need their school to help get them working and gaining support from other parents who are on their same path. This will get them tightly enrolled into a school's program and put the 'light at the end of their tunnel', or at least put their day into reference. Once they're able to connect with each other for support, it will translate into easing the demands on a school's staff.

COMMUNITY-Bringing parents and staff together to meet, network and learn offline is a great opportunity. However, an online parent community enables a school to do this online as well making that support continually available to their families. It's a cost effective means for parents to stay involved as often as they choose, make friends, and support the Staff. The parents at Schools that have active online communities have responded with great enthusiasm and reinforced commitment to stay the course.

REPUTATION-With social networking sites popping up everyday, it is imperative for a school to have its own online system where they have control, influence and leadership. With the advent of the web, reputation has become more vulnerable. With so many parents, students, and others going online, it is important for a school to utilize this opportunity to its advantage. The web is here to stay, so harness the positive energy and make it work for the school!

The web is a powerful reality of our lives. Embrace the steps to make it work with you and for you. Raise the bar and become the ultimate family-friendly program. Get parents behind your school with a webbased community.

About the Author: Randall Cook is a program graduate who administers several bulletin board systems in a "Family Friendly" manner. He administers the Struggling Teens parent support board as well as boards for numerous Programs, Schools and Professional Organizations. For more information on setting up a board for family support, visit his web site at www.corebb.com or contact him at randall@corebb.com



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