Guidelines for Church School Email Communications


General

Our Church School, working closely with Fr. Nick, has developed the following guidelines for email communications to and from our Church School as a St. Nicholas ministry.


Church School Email Address

Our Church School, as a St. Nicholas ministry, has one email address:
  • "St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan" <churchschoolaa[at]gmail.com>
Only the Church School directors can send and receive email at the above email address.


How to send Email to our Church School

All email communications to our Church School (as a St. Nicholas ministry) should be addressed
  • To: "St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan" <churchschoolaa[at]gmail.com>
All emails sent to the above address are received only by the Church School directors.


Family Email Addresses are Confidential

The email addresses of all Church School families are confidential and are hidden in all emails sent by the Church School directors or teachers (see below).


How Email from our Church School to all Families and Staff is Addressed

Typical Email from Church School to all Families and Staff

From: St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan <churchschoolaa@gmail.com>
To: St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan <churchschoolaa@gmail.com>
Bcc: family1@isp1.com, family2@isp2.com, family3@isp3.com,..., teacher1@isp1.com, teacher2@isp2.com, ..., staff1@isp1.com, staff2@isp2.com, ...
Subject: St. Nicholas Church School: <specific topic goes here>

Dear Church School Families,
[email message text...]
The field "Bcc:" stands for "Blind Carbon Copy" and serves to send email to all the addresses listed after the "Bcc:" without revealing them in the email that is actually sent. Only the email addresses listed in the "To:" and "Cc:" fields can be seen by the email recipients. All recipients listed in the "Bcc:" field receive the email but their email addresses are hidden. Thus, email recipients do not know the number and email addresses of those recipients who are listed in the "Bcc:" field.


How Email from Church School Teachers to the Student Families in their Classroom is Addressed

Church School teachers are provided with email addresses for the families of the students in their own classrooms, only.
This enables teachers to communicate directly with their students (through their parents) when necessary.
Teachers should also use the above "Bcc:" approach when sending email to the families in their classroom. 

Example Email for the 4th and 5th Grade Classroom

From: Jane Doe "jane.doe@gmail.com"
To: St. Nicholas Church School Ann Arbor Michigan <churchschoolaa@gmail.com>
Cc: Other teachers in the classroom
Bcc: family451@isp1.com, family452@isp2.com, family453@isp3.com,...
Subject: St. Nicholas Church School, 4th-5th Grades: <specific topic goes here>

Dear 4th and 5th Grade Church School Families,
[email message text...]


Email Spam

In addition to confidentiality, a major reason for hiding the email addresses of our Church School families inside the "Bcc:" field is
  • To avoid email "spam"!
It is very easy for any recipient of a mass-email to click the "Reply All" button (deliberately or accidentally) and send an email to everyone whose address is visible in the original email. If Church School family email addresses are not hidden, it would be possible for one family to send an email to all families in Church School!
Perhaps we have all experienced the results of such mass-emails in similar situations: A vicious cycle of emails starts, each of which complains about the flood of emails!  Yet, those who complain are also the ones who cause the problem, because they, too, have clicked the "Reply All" button and have sent their email to everyone. Thus, the vicious cycle of complaints perpetuates.