CIPA-Uganda’s mission is to build and encourage a united parent community and to promote a network of communication between parents, guardians, teachers and the school administration.
Communication is the most important activity for CIPA and clarifying its key audiences, channels and frequency is crucial in order to ensure that we can achieve our purpose.
This communications strategy shows how CIPA-Uganda communications will be conducted with the school, parents and students. CIPA is relatively new and is in the process of defining its role and its strategies to effectively implement its mandate.
Principles underpinning CIPA Communication
In line with CIPA’s purpose it is important to establish an effective communications system to foster a sense of community and exchange of information among parents, school administration, teachers and students. CIPA’s mandate as a strategic partner of the school involves strategic engagement with the Principal, Heads of the Schools, teachers, parents, GEMS Corporate Board, students and other relevant stakeholders. This requires efficient formal communication channels. Communication from CIPA in this regard will be based on several principles including: clarity; conciseness; objectivity; consistency; completeness; relevancy and appropriateness for the audience.
Methods of communication and key meetings
CIPA will use various methods for communications including the following meetings and channels:
- Monthly meeting with school Principal. On regular basis, the monthly meeting should include other school representatives, preferably Heads of Primary and Secondary.
- Bi-Monthly newsletter from CIPA to all parents. This will be sent through CIPA email address (preview review by school) and printed to be display in the CIPA Board. The newsletter will include updates, resources for parents, key discussion points from meetings, events, successes, etc.
- If required, CIPA can also include some updates in the school newsletter (Grapevine) or in the Primary and Secondary newsletter, if agreed as necessary.
- Annual General Assembly, as the main annual event to elect the new committee and report back on general issues. Other Parents Assembly may be organized during the school calendar, especially at the beginning of the school year.
- Quarterly events and/or meetings. CIPA will organize informal events to keep regular communications with parents and also as opportunities to bring the community together. They could take different forms: barbeques, Christmas bazaar, family days, etc
- Coffee mornings. CIPA will organize informal coffee morning every 4 to 6 weeks to meet parents and discuss general issues. They will be good opportunities to get informal feedback and update on key issues and events.
- Meeting with the Student Council. On quarterly basis, a representative from CIPA could be invited to attend a Student Council meeting to get ideas of increasing parents engagement and prepare joint events.
- Website. CIPA may have a display as part of the GEMS website with general information about the association.
- Facebook. CIPA will display information from time to time on the school facebook page, especially to inform about events.
- Meetings with other parents associations. In order to reinforce learning and create sharing opportunities, CIPA will organize meetings with other parents associations from time to time.
In order to ensure these means of communications are properly implemented, CIPA needs to create an email account, which is accessible, both to the School and CIPA members, will be opened by the school administration.
Formal communication on behalf of CIPA shall be made by the Chairperson. The Chair can also delegate this responsibility on the Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Communications Coordinator.
Any official communication from CIPA to parents will always be shared with the Principal’s office before being sent out for endorsement.
CIPA will develop specific communication programmes, events or publications that will take place either daily, weekly, monthly, bi-annually or annually. This will be done in coordination with the school calendar.
CIPA will monitor the number of response to its communications including: newsletters, emails, phone calls, meetings and online communications to assess their effectiveness and adjust their communication strategy accordingly.