Although we’re looking forward to welcoming students and teachers in person once the school year officially kicks off in a few weeks, we always like to get the ball rolling early by sending out a “Welcome Back” letter at the beginning of August. There isn’t a formula and there aren’t any official rules for drafting a Welcome Back letter, but if you’re having trouble getting started, these tips may come in handy.
Talk about your summer
We always like to begin by talking briefly about where we’ve been, who we’ve spent time with, and what we’ve learned over the summer. Did you travel anywhere, attend any conferences, plant a garden, coach little league, read any good books? Talk about it. You don’t have to compromise your privacy, but if you want to build trust, you should give your readers a peek inside your life.
Talk about last year’s success
We take great pride in all that our students and teachers have accomplished and have no qualms about getting our brag on! Approach your letter like the president would his State of the Union address: highlight last year’s milestones, share a few of your favorite memories, and set the stage for the next part of your letter where you set new goals and outline how you will reach them.
Set goals for this school year and outline how you will reach them
Our schools are always in the process of “becoming.” Take a moment to bask in your school’s accomplishments, but continue to look forward.
Use this section to set new goals and outline steps for achieving them. And don’t forget to elicit feedback from parents! You may know their children, but you’ll never know them as well as their parents do. Remind parents that your office door is open and that you welcome their perspective and feedback.
Brag on your teachers and staff
Before you close your letter, talk a little about your teachers and staff. What have they been up to this summer? What are their plans for the upcoming year? This may seem overwhelming if you have a large staff, but you don’t have to overdo it; a sentence or two about each staff member will be plenty. If you have any new additions to the team, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce them.
Your main priority in this section is to remind your readers that your staff is constantly growing, learning, and planning for the forthcoming school year.
Did we leave anything out? If you have suggestions for writing a back-to-school letter, please feel free to share your ideas!