Summer Social Media: Keep the School Spirit Alive

Help students stave off summer slide, have fun, and come back in the fall refreshed and ready for learning.

Topics: Early Career Principals, School Culture and Climate

When I started in my new school this year, creating a social media presence was a top priority. It’s a great way to tell your school’s story, and summer is no time to stop. You can help halt summer slide while reminding students, new and returning families, and staff what their shared culture looks like.

These social media do’s for summer will help the entire school community stay connected, have fun, and come back in the fall refreshed and ready for learning!

DO Be Engaging

Families and staff are busy with summertime activities, but if your posts are engaging enough, they’ll want to take a peek and join the fun.

  • Create a hashtag such as #FunFriday to post pictures of what staff members are doing over the summer. It may be a vacation or something as simple as playing in the backyard. Childre love to see what their teachers are doing outside of school.
  • During the pandemic, my husband, who is also a principal, and I needed long-distance ways to engage our students and families. We started posting challenges for our students to complete at home, such as the “Ping-Pong-Pot” challenge, the cookie challenge, and the whipped cream challenge. Even in the summer, we post videos of our own family completing the challenges, and we challenge students to do the same.
  • Summer is a great time to keep my principal read-alouds going with videos for posting! Students especially love our “mystery reader” videos when we keep them guessing about the staff member who’s reading the book.
  • We also encourage kids to keep up their reading habits by posting pictures of staff members reading in their favorite spots. Parents send pictures of their children doing the same. S.: Seeing themselves on the school Facebook page is an incentive for kids to read!
  • Post quick videos of the life in your school building, e.g., custodians cleaning or new murals going up. Families love to see what’s happening, and kids are amazed to learn that not everyone gets summer break.

DO Be Efficient

Principals like to enjoy summer, too! By using software, we can post items quickly and easily. Then, it’s on to the backyard barbecue—which might appear next on your Facebook feed.

  • The Facebook planner tool allows me to create posts months in advance. For example, I create graphics for school events, spirit days, and school closures. Then I schedule these posts to go out in the evening, when parents are typically more active on social media.
  • While I do post on Twitter, I find that most of our families are more active on Facebook. Knowing where to find the audience focuses my time and attention on the right social media outlets.
  • Before summer begins, decide on your social media goals. I list all the things I intend to do—all those hashtags and read-alouds—to keep families engaged through social media over the summer.

DO Be Welcoming

The first day of school is always exciting but a bit nerve-wracking, too. Maintaining a dynamic social media presence during the summer keeps the positive vibes alive.

  • We advertise events such as kindergarten orientation and back-to-school night, so no one misses out.
  • Last summer, I asked new staff members to send me a photo and information they’d like to share, and I used Canva to turn them into Facebook introductions. What a huge hit! Families were eager to learn more about the new faces joining our team.

Most of all, be positive! There are so many fun and exciting things to share, even during the summer. As excitement builds for the new school year, these posts help turn the first day of school into a fun reunion!

Leslie Kapuchuck is principal of McGaheysville Elementary School in McGaheysville, Virginia.