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West Madison principal’s blog keeps families up-to-date

Principal Dr. Daphne Jah has substituted crumpled papers that rarely reached home with her blog that informs families of West Madison Elementary School.

Dr. Daphne Jah

Jah started her blog (wmesprincipal.blogspot.com) this year “to communicate with parents on thoughts about our school community. So many things happen that they have no idea are going on. A blog gives me a platform to share.”

“I totally embrace the explosion of communication technology. We have to,” Jah said. “Our kids are engrossed in social media. We have to catch up with them and help them to use it in a positive way.”

She handles all aspects of her blog — formatting, adding links, setting headings and posting videos. Jah recommends Google’s blogspot software as a tool to simplify the online work.

Jah believes that more people are reading her blog, compared to printed announcements intended for bookbags. “At least, I hope they do. Fliers and papers sent home always ended up in the hall or trash cans … and never made it home,” Jah said.

Years ago, West Madison’s staff reduced the amount of papers sent home.

In one blog post, Jah discussed “lethargitosis,” an idea she borrowed from another principal. She explained that children experience lethargitosis after lazy days of summer end with the start of school. “This ailment brings on extreme symptoms including complaints about going to bed early, getting up early and an overall distaste for a routine,” she said.

Her first video, “212 degrees,” discussed ‘turning up the steam.’ “I had shown it to our faculty because we want to turn up the heat to move to the next level,” Jah said. “We have been stuck for a long time. We have great teachers and great students, and there isn’t any reason why we can’t move up.”

Feedback has been generous and positive for Jah’s blog.

Along with her blog, Jah communicates with Twitter, school website (wmes.madisoncity.k12.al.us) and Facebook (Facebook/West Madison Elementary School in Pages list).

One West Madison teacher has started a kid’s blog. “I think it’s wonderful — a platform to reach so many people,” Jah said.

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