With school back in session and a brand new year ahead, everyone’s meeting new peers, getting caught up with their favorite (and least favorite) subjects, and getting a feel for what’s in store for them this term and next. It’s an exciting time to dive into extracurricular activities, campus events, and new experiences to remember for years to come.
Whether you’re in the process of creating a high school newsletter or just trying to get some inspiration for improving the one you already have, here are some school newsletter ideas to get you started on your journey.
School newsletters are periodical publications sent to students, parents, faculty, and staff. They can be printed and mailed directly to members of the school community or shared and distributed digitally through email and social media. Content in a school newsletter often includes information about what’s happening on campus, reminders about upcoming events, important announcements, fundraisers, and other timely details relevant to staff and students. Newsletters are often released weekly – typically on Fridays – to prepare and inform parents and students about what’s coming up in the following week.
Now that we know what a school newsletter is used for let’s look at some sections to include. Your newsletter should be informative and easy to skim, but what it should look like is entirely up to you. Here are a few school newsletter ideas to motivate you to create your best and most effective school publication.
Academia is an environment where we can truly celebrate our achievements together. Nothing is more inspiring than hearing about the successes of your peers and having the opportunity to share those accomplishments with each other. Your school newsletter should always have a place to promote those moments. Be sure to highlight students of the week, star athletes, and other recognizable moments.
The school community needs to know what’s going on on campus, and your newsletter is a perfect way to surface those things. Here’s where you should share news about happenings on the campus, health matters, school closures or teacher training days, and upcoming holidays. High school newsletters are the leading format for sharing important announcements, and parents will appreciate this method of continuous communication.
Your newsletter is an excellent opportunity to share deeper knowledge on a topic; after all, this is an educational environment. Your school newsletter can reflect the awareness around some of the themes your school faculty and staff are observing around campus. Perhaps a rigorous exam season is leading to more stress and anxiety among the students. If so, this would be a helpful time to include a thoughtful article about stress management and the importance of prioritizing mental health, along with a page of resources provided within the community (like free tutoring) for those struggling.
You could also share a piece on time management skills or schedule-building around the start of the year to help students and staff get back into the rhythm of the academic year. No matter the topic, stay aware of and in tune with the tone. If you need some additional help doing so, consider electing student editors for the role of curating or writing these articles. That way, you have a balanced perspective, and the articles will be most impactful.
The best school newsletter examples are those that include celebrations and events. As the school year flies by, there are bound to be plenty of key moments that punctuate it. Undoubtedly, most of those occur through joyful celebrations like Homecoming or a student-led culture fair. And, of course, there are always the main events like graduation to round out the year. A school calendar stays full, so make sure you’re highlighting those dates in every newsletter.
With an ever-changing student body, no two school years are alike. Capture the voice of each specific year by including interviews with the people living it. Student and staff interviews are a fun and accessible way to include diverse voices and perspectives in each edition. This is also a part of the newsletter that could be assigned to the students themselves, and who better to help than your school’s journalism or newspaper club? This gives students another chance to have their voices heard and gain valuable interviewing experience.
While learning how to balance studies, personal life, and work, students face a lot of pressure each day. Content geared towards their wellbeing can have an impact, especially in a high school newsletter when students are at such a critical part of their development. Responding to the diverse needs of students is essential. Regularly surfacing resources and relevant information about anything from emotional support services to classroom accommodations work towards creating a supportive learning environment.
While every school publication will look different, and some will have more design elements than others, you can always take inspiration from the way other schools are sharing their content. Here are a few school newsletter examples on Issuu to get your creative ideas flowing.
Reddam House is an independent, co-educational, non-denominational day school with locations in Australia. Their high school newsletter, @ Reddam, is a multipage letter that comes out twice a month. It includes an opening letter from the school principal followed by highlights of events and activities that have taken place throughout the semester.
Chaminade College Preparatory is a private Catholic preparatory school in the Greater Los Angeles area. They send out a summer newsletter to students and their guardians to prepare them for the upcoming school year. The letter includes information about orientation, required reading, the daily schedule, and instructions on how to order books and school uniforms.
The Cherwell School is a co-educational secondary school in Oxford, England. Their newsletter is an excellent resource for its school community, as it acts as a guidebook for all things happening on campus and the wealth of resources available to its students. The newsletter is distributed once every semester, with one created in the summer. This is an example of a newsletter that goes out less frequently but houses plenty of information in each release.
Haberdashers' School for Girls is an independent day school in Elstree, England. Their newsletter is designed in the school’s colors and opens with a letter from their Head of School. From there, it takes you through upcoming events, a list of reminders, and a summary of recent activities. Finally, it closes with a calendar of dates to remember for the coming months.
You can always look to the above school newsletter examples for best practices to help you plan or improve your school’s publication. In summary, here are the most important things to remember in creating your newsletter:
Write for your students first. Always find a way to connect with their unique interests and needs, whether that’s by consulting with students or enlisting help from student writers.
Plan your publications in advance. Work with your school calendar and planning committees to map out what you’ll need to cover in each edition.
Use digital tools. Design your publications with digital tools like Canva or InDesign, and then upload them to Issuu to distribute them through email or your school’s social media group pages. You can also embed each edition on your school’s website.
Work together. The students, parents, staff, and larger community can all help you craft the most relevant, impactful content for your school.
Make your content engaging. If you’re creating a digital newsletter, you can infuse it with photos, relevant links, and embedded videos; you can also create gifs of each edition to make engaging content for social media and email.
Digital school newsletters are the best way to connect with your readers where their attention already goes. Make it easy for parents and students to stay updated with school news through a link in an email or a social media post. You can share each edition instantly, avoiding the cost of printing and the hassle of mailing it out to your school community.
A digital school newsletter is also ready to be viewed on any device. Mobile-optimized content is necessary, as according to research from Contentsquare, an average of 58% of online users access the internet through their mobile devices compared to desktop. Whether it’s busy parents trying to look up the school’s calendar of events or a student who needs a quick reminder of where to go for their after-school activity, providing quick access to this information on a mobile device makes life much easier for all parties.
With a digital newsletter, you can also embed your publications onto your website. As long as your readers can access a digital version of your newsletter, the information on your school’s website will continually be refreshed with the latest events around campus without needing to update the site’s content.