Winter months bring snow. Summer months bring hurricanes. Each season has expected inclement weather. The timing is not expected and can be difficult to run classes during that time. So, how do you get in contact with your students in these times?
Do phone calls still work or is there a more time efficient way to get in touch with them?
1- One of the fastest ways of communicating to a large audience is through social media. Post on Facebook or Twitter that classes are cancelled. Get the word out and encourage your fans to help spread it. This way of communicating is very quick, but cannot be dependable. Post on social media sites in addition to these posts. Make sure it gets to the majority of your students,
2- Send out a mass text. Cell phones are going to be in most people’s hands, or at least close enough for them to hear it ring. They might not always check their email or Facebook, but they will check a quick text. How do you send a mass text? Some software companies, like Jackrabbit Technologies, have this ablility. This blog post explains step by step how to send a mass text to your students.
3- Set a policy for inclement weather. Before the weather hits, make sure you have a good plan for when it does come. Let everybody know what method you will use to communicate when classes will be cancelled.
Even adding a sentence or two (like below) on your website, Facebook page, or registration page can help educate parents and students on your policy.
“We take the safety of students and staff very seriously. That’s why we move quickly to alert parents and students through our mass texting through Jackrabbit in the event of inclement weather or potentially unsafe circumstances at or around our school.”
Deciding when to cancel a class is also very tough. Since the weather is unpredictable, how long do you wait to cancel a class? Do you watch the weather channel and make a decision within a couple hours of class? What has worked for your school?