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Concord Academy

Large Group Messaging (FYI & Official lists)

This explains the school's approach to sending messages to large groups (everyone on campus, or all adults) and provides a mechanism for feedback about ways to improve use of the lists or to reduce perceived abuse of the lists.

Details

 

We have adopted a new mechanism for large group messaging at CA, with an aim to be respectful of the time and attention of members of the CA community. This includes new practices to help pre-identify the priority of messages, and powerful tools to let people individually refine the choices further.

 

The new structure of sending large group messages with pre-determined Official or FYI designations is to be approached with the recipient's experience in mind. Messages containing information about mandatory meetings or other things important to the operation of the school would go to an "Official" group, while informational messages (including optional-attendance events sponsored by a department at the school) would go to "FYI" groups. If the recipient must attend, read the information, honor the deadline, etc., it is Official. If the recipient is not obligated to attend, to decide, or to contribute, then the message goes to FYI.

 

As with the Common Trust practice of not walking across the quad as a short-cut to the other side of campus, we are asking members of the community to adhere to these guidlines. A lost phone is not an Official or Urgent message, but a lost child is, and we need to safe-guard these distinctions for the good of the community at large.

 

Inviting the entire school to a calendar event is an incredible inconvinience to the community, and is really poor ettiquette. Please do not add an all-school Google Group to an event as a guest, as this requires every user to decline the event. There will be a tool available for the broadcasting and publishing of school events, but it is NOT Google Calendar.

 

Misuse of the lists will result in the sender being subject to "moderation" of their posts to these large groups for the remainder of the academic year; this means that any post from the sender will need to be approved by an authorized person before it is sent on to the members of the group.

Recipients’ View

In each Google Mail inbox, we have forced the creation of a set of nested labels:

  •     a parent label “_CA” (with the leading underscore so that it sorts to the top of the list)
  •     child labels “FYI” and “Official”


We also have forced the creation of filters to apply these labels to the applicable messages (see below).  The default filters will not be set to “Skip Inbox”, so all such messages will appear in the inbox — with the appropriate label — unless the individual user takes action to customize his/her filter.

Notes:

Because of the nesting, when viewed in message lists or in message-display views, these will appear as “_CA/FYI” and “_CA/Official”.  We do not have the ability to force label colors, so they will appear standard (gray) unless customized by the user.

This nesting structure will give us the flexibility to push out additional CA-global labels in the future.

Senders’ View

Senders will be able to address messages to the following groups:

  • all_school_official
    • purpose: messages about official school business such as closings, schedule adjustments, personnel announcements, IT system outages, etc.
    • goes to:  all active Google Mail users — students, faculty, staff, adjunct music teachers, coaches, house parents, non-employee adult campus residents
    • label applied: _CA/Official
    • who can send:  any adult, and select school student leaders
  • all_school_urgent
    • purpose: high-urgency official messages (e.g., safety issues, last-minute closings)
    • goes to:  all active Google Mail users — students, faculty, staff, adjunct music teachers, coaches, house parents, non-employee adult campus residents
    • subject line prepended with:  [URGENT]
    • label applied: _CA/Official
    • who can send:  Senior Administrators
  • all_school_FYI
    • purpose: informational or general-interest messages (not about official school business)
    • goes to:  all active Google Mail users — students, faculty, staff, adjunct music teachers, coaches, house parents, non-employee adult campus residents
    • label applied: _CA/FYI
    • who can send:  any Google Mail user (adult or student)
  • faculty_staff_official
    • purpose: messages about official school business such as closings, schedule adjustments, personnel announcements, IT system outages, etc.
    • goes to:  all adult Google Mail users — faculty, staff, adjunct music teachers, coaches, house parents, non-employee adult campus residents
    • label applied: _CA/Official
    • who can send:  any adult
  • faculty_staff_FYI
    • purpose: informational or general-interest messages (not about official school business)
    • goes to:  all adult Google Mail users — faculty, staff, adjunct music teachers, coaches, house parents, non-employee adult campus residents
    • label applied: _CA/FYI
    • who can send:  any adult
  • Department-specific groups (e.g., academic_office)
    • purpose:  business-related messages to a subset of staff
    • goes to:  members of the particular department’s staff
    • subject line prepended with:  group name in [ ]
    • label applied: _CA/Official
    • who can send: members of the sub-organization, as identified in our school information system.

Feedback on Use of Lists

If you have suggestions about how these large-group lists could be used in a better way, or a comment about how you believe that the lists are being misused as compared to the description above, please complete the following form so that we can help make things work more efficiently for everyone!