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St. Anna School’s social media sparks interest

Posted By March 6, 2015 | 5:20 pm | Local
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By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

LEOMINSTER – In less than two years, St. Anna Elementary School has had three principals. The current one is Bobbie French, who took over last summer.
Things are going very well, and enrollment is up, she noted.
Last year, there were 179 students, a figure that has since climbed to 194.
“I hope it keeps going (up),” she said. “I’d like to hit 200 by the fall.”
She attributes the better numbers to positive publicity.
“I think it’s definitely word of mouth,” she stated. “I’ve become very active with social media.”
Mrs. French said the school website is kept up to date, thanks to the effort of a parent volunteer.
Also, the school has a presence on Facebook.
“Our Facebook page is very active, there are lots of pictures,” she added, explaining that she usually posts something every day.
In addition, she is busy promoting the school on Instagram and on Twitter. Having more of a presence on the Internet is appreciated by the parents, she stated, adding that she often hears how they like to read about the school.
“It sparks interest,” she said. “They feel like they know what is happening at school because they get that little daily blip every day.”
“There’s some momentum, some positive chatter out there, which is nice,” she added.
Mrs. French still sends a weekly newsletter home, which she says, is not just all about the school. It contains other information as well.
In addition, when you walk in the front lobby, there is a daily message board, updated each day.
“I’ve gotten lots of comments from that daily message,” she said.
Mrs. French said she has tried to build upon the community that already existed when she came to the school. One of the ways she’s done this is with a new program that recognizes a student of the month from every grade, who “embodies what St. Anna is about.”
They are also recognized at the weekly Mass, to which she invites their parents. Also, these students are invited to have doughnuts with the principal.
In an effort to boost technical literacy, students in the older grades no longer use paper. Their work is created and stored online, in Google documents.
“That’s just kind of been a nice thing in pushing our technology a little further,” she noted.
Mrs. French, who was formerly the Special Education Coordinator in the Gardner Public Schools stressed that Catholic schools are now able to educate many students who may need extra help.
“I’m trying to get the message out we’re trying to educate all students, and letting people know we are able to do that,” she said.