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8 Essential Tips And The Only Tool You'll Ever Need To Plan The Perfect School Trip
14 June, 2018
Miles Thomas Avatar
Miles Thomas
Head of Marketing & Growth
8 Essential Tips And The Only Tool You'll Ever Need To Plan The Perfect School Trip

“School Ski trip - noooooooooo!”

As a school principal or admin staff member, these three words likely instil an equal sense of terror and excitement. There is no doubting that taking a group to the snow is a rewarding and exciting experience.

A ski trip presents a fantastic opportunity for students to experience the thrill of flying down the slopes. Connecting with the outdoors, overcoming fears and mastering a new skill are excellent development opportunities.

However, the logistics of planning a school trip can make them a daunting prospect to arrange. The heightened risks of winter sports coupled with accommodation requirements, travel and other permissions may make them seem out of reach.

However with effective and reliable parent communication - your students will be mastering their parallel turns in no-time. It’s all about having the very best tools to plan a school trip at your disposal.

Here’s a walkthrough of how the SkoolBag platform makes light work of managing ANY school trip.

1. Communicate details early and often

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No matter what kind of trip your arranging, it’s important to have a place for key details. Somewhere that anyone interested or involved can refer to. Dates, locations and costs are usually the big ones! And don’t forget permission form requirements.

Once you’ve got some of the basic info for your trip sorted, you’ll want to communicate to parents who might be interested in their child attending.

To ensure everyone can find all the relevant information about the trip in one place, you can setup an event in SkoolBag.

Events allow you to add any content such as videos, images and urls to convey the details of the trip.

2. Allow parents to subscribe to updates

The best way to keep everyone informed on the latest news and details of the trip is to have a dedicated communication channel.

SkoolBag enables exactly this, ensuring your messages will go directly to parents mobiles via notifications, emails or both.

The best way to do this is to set a “Content Group”. Content groups are sections of your SkoolBag App to which users can subscribe. Your users can opt-in or out of groups at any time.

Groups means that your communication, such as notifications or emails, will only go to the relevant parents of students who are attending (or interested in attending).

Different events and groups require different levels of privacy. It’s up to you to decide whether your groups are set to “Open” where anyone can subscribe, or “Closed” where users need a password or have their request to join accepted before they can view updates.

Once you’ve setup the group, you can use Quick Compose to tell all parents to join the group if they’re interested.

3. Make it easy to submit permissions

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With Ski Trips, capturing permissions, medical details and taking payment are an essentials but potentially time consuming process.

However, SkoolBag makes this simple with eForms: the easiest way to capture and organise information from parents.

eForms integrate into the SkoolBag app so they can be easily submitted by parents at anytime from their mobile.This means you can expect far better response rates.

Once parents respond, all the information is stored in your Admin Console so you can easily access and print as needed.

You can setup multiple eForms and add them to events or groups, then schedule reminders for parents to submit.

If you have a PayPal or Stripe account, you can even take payments directly from eForms.

4. Always follow up on the follow-up

Whilst posting updates to the SkoolBag app can be the fastest way to communicate, it’s often good to followup important communications with an email.

SkoolBag lets you manage both communicate channels from a single place. You can even send the same message as a notification AND email.

So once your event and forms are setup, make sure you notify parents via email.

5. The big day - set up reminders

Even on the most meticulously planned events and excursions, the adrenaline of the big day can mean it’s easy to forget things.

Particularly when getting to the snow normally means an early start!

So it’s a good idea to schedule an update to parents with all the details of where to be and when, so you don’t need to be setting your alarm sending alerts at 5am.

To schedule a push notification to go out on the morning of the trip, simply publish the update to the group. Then schedule the notification to go out at your chosen time on the following screen.

6. Share the excitement from the slopes

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Had a great day on the slopes? Sharing updates during your event is a great way to reassure your community that everything is going well and fun is being had by all.

Send an update to the group to let them know how it’s going and share some pictures of the students on the slopes. You can even upload and embed a videos of your best turns.

7. Let everyone know what time your be back

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Send a message to the group’s parents with your estimated arrival time to ensure everyone’s gets picked up when the bus arrives.

8. Revel in the glory

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Once everyone is safely back home make sure you let the community know what a success the trip was for all involved, it will make planning the next one even easier! Share some photos or video from the trip in the next school newsletter, the gallery feature is a great way to upload pictures in a flash. With our new mobile optimised email builder, everything will be beautifully mobile optimised.

And that’s it! If you have any questions about getting the most out of any the features mentioned for your school, you can always contact our customer support team, who’d be happy to arrange a training session.

Or if you’re yet to get SkoolBag for your school - contact sales and we’ll have you setup in no-time.

Miles Thomas Avatar
Miles Thomas
Head of Marketing & Growth

Miles loves helping schools bring their communities closer together. After years spent developing marketing and growth strategies for leading consumer technology brands, Miles is now dedicated to helping more schools unlock the power of SkoolBag.

Bring your school together, today.

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