Get to know each board member by finding out the following:
What is each person's background?
Why are they on the board?
What skills, passions and/or work experience to they bring to this collective group that can help you meet the mission of your preschool program?
Tip #2: Know Each Member's Preferred Vehicle of Communication
Some people LOVE Facebook, some do not. Some people check their email accounts daily, some monthly. Some prefer old-fashioned phone calls!
Communicating with preschool boards begins with getting to know the members of your board with a personal telephone call. Just say hi! Thank them for being on the board. Ask how they would like to receive information from you regarding your preschool program.
Would they prefer a telephone call, email, text or private Facebook message?
Keep notes of what they tell you and then use that information to keep them current!
Tip #3: Develop Individual Relationships
Now that you know how each member likes to be reached, reach out to them! Communicating with Preschool Boards is successful when you use their preferred vehicle of communication. Send them a quick, anecdotal preschool conversation (especially if it has to do with that member's area of interest in the preschool!) or question!
Example: You might send this email, text, private Facebook message or call the member in charge of the Preschool Property:
"Hi Cheryl! I had to share this with you! In the preschool today, we asked the children what they would want for the classroom if they had a million dollars. One of the children said, 'Ooooh! Could we have a pet dinosaur?' I was wondering if you think there might be extra room in the building to store our new classroom pet?! ;) I hope all is well with you! See you at the preschool board meetingon August 12th!"
Or, you could send the message to the person who handles your preschool budget asking if they think there is money in the budget for a pet dinosaur!
Sound silly? Of course it is!
Should you do it? Of course you should! This is a great way to keep them involved in the program in a very real and fun way!
Tip #4: Ask for Individual Input or Feedback
Include each member in the information gathering stages of additions or changes you'd like to make in your program.
Will your playground need additional mulch this year because it is settling? This is a budget expense we often forget about. Most states have a specific thickness of mulch or ground covering.
Contact the person on your board who might know of where you can begin to gather prices for mulch? Do they know someone locally who provides this?
Will you be placing a large supply order next month (paint, paper, glue, etc.?). Send a courtesy email, note or place a call to let the person who handles the preschool finances know in advance. Let them know the approximate amount you think the order will be for, just as a heads up for them.
Would you like to add a half-hour to your program time? Would you like to add a teacher's aide to your staff?
Run these things by the appropriate (or all) of the members BEFORE the next meeting!
The board should know of major changes in advance. None of us likes to be hit with "Oh, by the way, we have this problem..." or "We'd like to add......" at preschool board meetings.
Give them time to process the suggestions or request and to give you feedback prior to the meeting.
Tip #5: Communicating with Preschool Boards in 3 Different Ways
Knowing your board members individually and knowing how they like to be contacted is important!
You should try to connect with them in 3 different ways each month!
I suggest the following for communicating with preschool boards:
An email, call or message once a month just to say hi OR to ask for input.
Mail them a copy of your monthly newsletter with a personal note printing on it.
A group email to the board as a reminder of a meeting and to share a cute/fun preschool story.
Communicating With Preschool Boards: Summary
Communicating with your preschool board is key. They are (or should be) a major support network for your program. Take the steps you need to have an ongoing relationship with each member!
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Hey there! Welcome to Preschool Plan It! I’m Cheryl, a preschool teacher of over 20 years.
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