Room 313

adventures in teaching creative writing

Emailing Parents in PowerSchool

Have I told you lately that I love Twitter? Where else can you network with phenomenal teachers from around the world?

Recently on Twitter, Jim Burke suggested to email parents before the school year even started, welcoming their students to class. I loved this idea, but I didn’t know how to do this. Our school has been using PowerSchool / PowerTeacher for at least four years now, and I wasn’t aware of a mass email feature. I decided to research this feature, and I happened across this website, which explained in detail how to do it. I was so excited! I shared the news with my colleagues, who also began emailing their students’ parents.

If you don’t need the visual steps, here’s what I emailed to my colleagues:

  1. Set up your Signature. Open up the grade book and click on the Tools menu and select Preferences at the bottom. Then click the Mail tab and type in what you want to appear in your signature. I included my name, classes taught, my Twitter name, and a link to my TeacherWeb page.
  2. Now select the class you want to email and click on Tools again. Now select Email Students and Parents. (Only parent emails are available.)
  3. A screen will pop up, allowing you to select multiple classes if you wish. Then click Next.
  4. Click the button next to Parents/Guardians to select all the parents.
  5. Type in your subject and message and click Send Now.
  6. ***There’s also another way to email parents. Click the class you want to email in the gradebook. Below, in the Student Groups window, right-click the Active students and select Email. The parents will automatically be selected. However, you cannot select multiple classes this way.

I heard back from 15 parents of my 148 students. I learned that one of my students would be absent on the first, taking a driving test. I learned one parent was very skilled in puns. And I learned that parents are very appreciative of teachers who communicate.

I hope to take advantage of this feature throughout this school year. It’s so helpful and easy, how could I not?

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