Email Etiquette Policy
Adopted October 2021 in collaboration with the school administration, teachers, support staff and parents/guardians (PTSA, School Site Council)
Luther Burbank Middle school is committed to open, honest and timely communication. We are also committed to communication being respectful, measured, sensitive and constructive. In adhering to these principles we aim to strengthen the goodwill and the positive partnership between parents and the school, to enhance the wellbeing and learning opportunities for our students. We also aim to uphold our school core values of respect, excellence, and community.
The aim of these guidelines is to:
clearly articulate our school’s commitment to positive use of the email system for communication
to acknowledge the potential benefits of staff and parents communicating via email, but also understand its shortcomings
establish clear expectations for both staff and parents in the use of email as a communication tool.
Expectations for both Luther Burbank Middle School School Administration, Faculty, Support Staff, and Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers:
When communicating via email, all school administrators, faculty, support staff and parents are expected to follow email etiquette, including:
Emails are at their best when they are brief and informative. Issues that require a level of detailed discussion should be dealt with in person or over the phone.
At the beginning of an email the sender can use ‘No reply necessary’ to convey an information sharing email only.
Emails should always be respectful and constructive. If the email relates to a concern or problem, it ought to be focused on understanding the problem and finding a solution.
Emails work best when they are positive. Avoid sending negative or confrontational emails.
Email is not to be used to vent. We never say in an email what we wouldn’t say to the recipient’s face.
Never write about or seek personal information regarding third parties (staff, students or parents). Likewise, emails containing personal or sensitive information should not be passed on to a third party without permission of the sender.
The tone or intent of emails can easily be misunderstood, especially where humor or sarcasm is involved. Be conscious of this and pick up the phone rather than send an email in this instance.
Faculty/Support Staff and parents are not expected to respond to emails that are contentious or require ongoing dialogue. A face-to-face meeting should be arranged in this circumstance.
Make sure the purpose of your email is clear…do you require specific action or is the email for information only?
When emailing a group, faculty/support staff and parents must ensure they do not disclose the email addresses of others without permission to do so. (Blind CC should be utilized)
Expectations of School administration, faculty, and support staff
Email should not be used to discuss a sensitive issue which was not initiated by the parent or had not been previously discussed with the parent.
When an email is received from a parent that requires some time to gather information and reply properly, the staff member should respond acknowledging that the email has been received and indicate when an informed response will be sent.
Faculty/Support Staff will aim to reply to parent emails within 2 working days.
When on leave, staff will activate an auto-reply message detailing relevant leave dates.
School administration, faculty and support staff may choose to send or respond to work related emails at a time of their own choosing, but there is no expectation to respond to these emails outside of school hours.
Faculty and support staff are not to respond to offensive or abusive emails and should forward them to the school principal.
Expectations of Parents
Remember that given work demands teachers may not get to read emails until late in the day.
Remember to respect staff personal time, including weekends and holidays.
Parents shouldn’t send emails outside of work hours and expect an immediate response.
It is the responsibility of every parent to keep the school administration and class teacher up-to date with current email addresses.