Virtual K-12 schools have unique needs and functions administrators need to address. Virtual classes and programs can offer the flexibility and attention that students and families love. If your private school offers online options or functions entirely online, here are ten tips you can use to improve your virtual school management.
1. Establish Communication Methods
Administrators can serve as liaisons between teachers, families, and higher education executives. When families need support, they can seek out administrators. Teachers may refer students and families to you when problems are out of scope. Using robust communication methods, you can make yourself more available to families and students.
When families can’t speak with you in person, they will appreciate knowing how they can reach you when they need you. Publish your email, phone number, and office hours on your school’s website. As you bring on new parents, reach out to them through emails, calls, video chats, and letters. Consistent communication helps show you are invested in your student’s education and care about their concerns and questions.
2. Host Regular Staff Meetings
As an administrator, you must support your teachers, staff, student body, and families. Many in-person schools offer staff and department meetings monthly or weekly to connect teachers with leadership and virtual schools can continue this practice with video calls.
Staff meetings are essential for identifying where you need support or changes in strategies. Your teachers and department heads can raise concerns or trends they’ve noticed, helping you see what’s working and what isn’t. Your group can brainstorm together, giving experienced teachers and faculty a chance to share their expertise and tips. Administrators can step in with structural support and guidance when there is a widespread problem.
3. Create a Virtual Teacher’s Lounge
While staff meetings are great places where teachers can get support, you can provide additional opportunities by setting up a virtual teacher’s lounge. This space can be an open video call that teachers can join at any time or during lunch breaks. This system can connect teachers with other instructors they might not usually encounter in department meetings, where they can discuss methods or seek advice.
When teachers are implementing many virtual school strategies and objectives, they need comprehensive support. A teacher’s lounge can help them decompress and make friends with other teachers, giving them a break like in-person teachers would experience.
4. Communicate Virtual Learning Expectations
Online school might be new for many families and teachers. Families will have new roles in their child’s learning compared to in-person schools. They might need to be more involved or help them navigate various technology. When issues arise, they need to know who to reach out to. Teachers will have to share additional information with families, from their contact information to how to connect to class each day.
As an administrator, you can lead all involved parties and clarify expectations. At back-to-school events, share what students and families need to be doing at home and explain what you and your teachers are doing on the other end to assist. When families understand what’s expected of them to help their students succeed and how you’re helping, you can build stronger relationships with them and cultivate a positive online learning environment.
5. Offer Staff Training and Professional Development
Virtual teaching requires an entirely new skill set for instructors to reach students successfully. Your private school can continue to showcase highly qualified teachers by providing your staff with training and development specific to online teaching. Required sessions can highlight essential skills and habits needed to best reach students and families while discovering strategies to promote higher engagement and learning outcomes.
You can also include regular training to introduce teachers to virtual tools and equipment, ensuring they have the skills to handle any technical problems. Teachers will have higher confidence when paired with the right tools and skills, reflecting their interactions with students and families.
6. Highlight All School Services and Events
Schools are gathering places of resources for students. Brick-and-mortar schools have offices and spaces dedicated to other services that students can explore during tours, orientations, and between classes. As a virtual school, you can still offer comprehensive services online.
During interest meetings and onboarding events, walk through everything you offer, from library services to individual counseling and writing centers. Tell families and students how they can access services or find more information about them. If your school has clubs and extracurriculars, create a page outlining what’s available. Share calendars with students and families to tell them about virtual school spirit events, concerts, art shows, and others. Students and families can feel more connected to their peers and community.
7. Pair Families With Mentors
Adjusting to a new school or learning method can be challenging for families. Mentors and ambassadors can help families adjust by serving as people they can go to with any questions. You can match new families with a PTA member to guide them through the first day of school and other important milestones, sending encouragement and support along the way.
Student ambassadors can reach out to new kids to tell them about what classes are like and the strategies that have helped them. New students will also have a familiar face they’ll know when classes start.
8. Create Online Resources
Many parents have common preconceptions about online schools and questions they need answered before committing. You can create extensive online resources your families and potential students can explore, helping them understand virtual learning and what you offer. Some things to consider adding to pages include:
- Frequently asked questions
- Available IT support
- Guides to set up class equipment
- Blogs dedicated to developing good online learning skills
- Testimonials from current students and families
These initiatives help show teachers, students, and families you are dedicated to assisting them in transitioning to your school, whether they are transferring from a brick-and-mortar, public, or another virtual private school.
9. Balance Work and Personal Life
Working in a digital environment makes it easy always to be available. Students and families can have problems from the minute classes start to later when completing homework. Brick-and-mortar schools limit interactions to school hours with physical offices, but email, phone calls, and video chats make administrators more accessible. However, you must set work boundaries to prevent staff burnout and best provide for your school.
Establish office hours when parents are welcome to contact you and stick to them. Review missed calls and emails in the morning. Avoid sharing your personal phone number or email. When you return to work refreshed, you can better tackle problems and brainstorm solutions.
10. Simplify Admissions and Enrollment
Administrators can better manage virtual private schools by investing in the right tools. Automated software solutions can streamline essential processes for students, families, and faculty. Virtual platforms eliminate the need for paper systems, saving time on filing and improving organization. Families can receive automatic updates on the admissions and enrollment process, encouraging them to complete applications and reminding them of due dates.
TADS offers comprehensive solutions for private schools. When you need to focus on new students and initiatives, our admissions and enrollment solution helps lighten the load while supporting families. The program organizes and tracks documents, making them easier for you and your families to locate and understand what they need to complete. Our tuition and billing management solution provides a secure place for families to submit payments virtually, from tuition fees to club dues.
Improve Virtual School Management With TADS
Administrators are the backbone of their schools. Virtual private schools need strong administrative teams supporting online teaching and private school standards. TADS solutions can help you manage your virtual private school by automating tasks, increasing efficiency, and tracking process progress.
Request a demo today and discover how TADS software solutions can transform your virtual private school functions.