About 5 years ago, a popular hotel chain was using that tune from The Clash as the soundtrack from their commercials.  And because the messages in music resonate with people who hear it, some of them might be thinking the same thing if they have children in your elementary school – especially due to continued uncertainties due to “COVID and the Variants.”

The start of the school year for your students is just around the corner, so this week, visit your local office supply store and pick up some packets of Avery postcards that can be printed on your computer.  A package of 60 is about $20, so consider this an investment in securing your current school enrollment.  There is a template you can choose that will format the WORD document properly so you can compose and print your “We’re looking forward to welcoming you to another school year” message.  The message should be directed toward your STUDENTS, since you’ll be mailing these postcards to your students’.  Only the message.  Not a name as to who it’s from.

Get a list of students from last year, and HAND-ADDRESS the other side of the postcard in BLUE ink!  While the message on the card can be printed on your computer, the address and the signature need to be hand-written in BLUE ink.

If you’re able to get the teacher of the class which the students will be entering to sign the card for those students entering that grade, then this task can be effectively divided.  However, if there’s still classroom assignments to be made, then the Principal MUST PERSONALLY sign the cards.  The card must be HAND-ADDRESSED to the CHILD, and must be done in BLUE ink.

Have I said BLUE ink enough?

The BLUE ink stands out against a black text, showing that you have taken some time to actually hand-address the card, put the postage on it, and sign the note (rather than inserting a computer-generated signature that will print in black).

Don’t have time to do this? Have a staff person address them in BLUE ink, allowing the principal to PERSONALLY sign the cards in BLUE ink. If you don’t MAKE the time to do this, you may get an unpleasant surprise in a few weeks when ten students you’re expecting to attend don’t show up. Rule #1 of Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is “BE PROACTIVE.”®  This is not difficult, it’s not going to cost a lot of money, and it will be time well spent!

You may read this and say, “You know what? I just looked at the bottom of this article, and found it was originally written 15 years ago!  Things have changed since then. We do a lot of this by email and by text now!”

That’s true! Email is a wonderful thing. Texting is even more efficient!  But keep these three things in mind:
1) This postcard is to the child…and you’ve seen what happens when teachers or administrators communicate electronically directly with students;
2) Kids LOVE to get mail in the mailbox! It’s such a novel thing these days! Imagine! Someone’s actually taken time to write to them rather than send them a text!
3) Postcards don’t get caught in spam filters.

Of course, you can always continue to hope they show up on the first day of school….and, the last time I checked, hope, while being one of the three things that last, is not a strategy.

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2006-2021 (Original Publication Date: 20060731)