Family Ambassadors are one of the greatest tools your school has. Families who share their stories about your school help to build connections between current families and attract potential families. Families are often better equipped than school staff to share their experiences at your school. Prospective families listen to and value the experience of other families as authentic. These stories lead prospective families to envision similar experiences for their children at your school. To maximize the effectiveness of Family Ambassadors at your school, carefully plan how you will select and train them.
Selecting Family Ambassadors
The ideal group of Family Ambassadors is representative of the population of your school. If your school is diverse, plan to include similar diversity among them. Select fathers, mothers, and other caregivers as appropriate. Look for individuals who are comfortable interacting with other parents online and in person. The best Family Ambassadors are actively engaged with the school community and are knowledgeable about the school’s activities.
Training Family Ambassadors
Regardless of how engaged a family already is, everyone will require some training. Ideally, this is done during a single, short meeting (in person or online). Provide them with information about the expectations of their time in this role and any instructions about accessing your school’s critical systems (in person and online) that are key to their position. In addition, provide information about staff members, including their responsibilities and any information available about them through a staff directory. Having an enhanced staff directory can help make this a quick and easy process that ambassadors can continue to use in the future.
Family Ambassadors should be fully aware of all clubs and extracurricular activities offered by the school. If this information is already easily accessible through a school ClubHubTM, then that information should, like the enhanced staff directory, be a quick and easy process. In addition, as new clubs or extracurricular activities are introduced into the school, be sure to provide ambassadors with all the details.
Families already have a story to tell. Help them to plan how they will share that story. Start by asking them to write notes about their children’s activities and experiences at school. Then ask them to write notes about their own experiences. What activities have been the most impactful? What is the school known for? Why do they think other parents should choose your school? Once they have these notes, have your ambassadors practice sharing their stories with each other.
Maximizing the Impact of Family Ambassadors
Family Ambassadors are most impactful when their impact is planned. How will prospective families learn about or connect with them? How will you ensure that ambassadors remain updated with events, including new events or key details about regularly occurring events? How will current families learn how to use Family Ambassadors as a resource? For example, current families may be encouraged to reach out to an ambassador with questions about volunteering for an event instead of calling the front office or asking their teachers.
Family Ambassadors are as valuable as you make them. Careful planning about how you will select, train, and maximize their impact will make them a critical resource for current and prospective families, teachers, and other school staff.