Electronic Communication Guidelines

Website, Hootiegram Newsletter and Mailchimp



 Submissions to the website may be made by Oak PTO Committee Chairs, Oak Staff and D181 personnel. Submissions which do not directly pertain to Oak School or to D181 will not be accepted. Submissions from organizations outside of the above referenced will not be accepted. Those submissions may be made to the district for listing in the Community Backpack section of the D181 website.

Procedure to Submit Content

All content is due by 5:00pm on Thursday to be included in the Sunday email blast. The deadline is firm outside of exceptional circumstances. Please respect the editor’s time and the work involved in getting the newsletter out and plan to submit your content by the deadline every week.

Use the Submit Content form which can be found under the Contact Us tab on the website home page to have your submission posted to the PTO website. The post will also automatically be included in the PTO weekly email message. All content will be reviewed before going live. Please note, only PTO or school related news and information will be posted to the website.

Contact information requested in the submission form is strictly for the editors to contact  you with any questions about your post. Contact information will not appear in the post unless it is included deliberately in the body of the post.

After clicking on “Submit Content” , if you are not taken to a new confirmation page, then your submission has not been accepted due to missing information. Please scroll up the page to find the error message. Once successful, you will also receive an emailed confirmation. Please review your confirmation to ensure all intended material was received. Occasionally we do not receive attachments or material due to formatting or some other glitch. Reviewing your confirmation email allows you to catch these errors before the newsletter goes out as the editor may not be aware that content is missing.

If you need to change or correct any information after submitting content, please follow the same submit content procedure but use the form to request your change. This ensures that when the editor is in the editing software, we can see all submissions and corrections in one location.

** Photos of childrens faces and names of children should not be included in any content.

 Any questions about the submission process or any problems, should be directed to [email protected]


Website Calendar Feed and Hootiegram Calendar

The website calendar feed (and the newsletter calendar) pull every week from the master calendar kept by the school secretary. If committees would like any relevant dates for their event or activities to appear in this calendar, the chairs must submit those dates to the school secretary for entry in the master calendar.

The editors are not responsible for any incorrect information in the calendar. Please contact the school secretary to resolve any calendar inaccuracies.


Running Posts For Multiple Weeks

The editing software for the website homepage feed and the weekly newsletter shows the editor only NEW posts that have come through the submission process that week. It is every chair’s responsibility to send rerun requests through the Submit Content process on a weekly basis. There are often about 10 posts a week, some of them run once, some of them are requested for multiple times. The system is not capable of keeping track of multiple running requests.

You do NOT need to resend the body of the post. Simply supply the headline and where the form asks for post text, request that your post run again that week.

Note that posts that are scheduled to run more than once will drop to the bottom of the feed to make way for new posts. It is the webmaster’s recommendation that chair’s change the post’s headline to better get the reader’s attention.


Mailchimp Guidelines

The Hootiegram newsletter should be your first choice for promoting your committee activities. Mailchimp is an email notification system separate from the newsletter. It is reserved for contacting parents for “one off” alerts or reminders as a support to your Hootiegram promotions. It is NOT designed to be sent out when chairs have missed the newsletter submission deadline. The editors will not use Mailchimp for this purpose outside of exceptional circumstances.

Please send your Mailchimp request a minimum of 24 hours in advance of when you would like it to go out. The more time the editors have for scheduling the better.

To schedule a Mailchimp, please contact the editors at [email protected] Your email should include: the date the Mailchimp should be sent out, an email subject line, a headline and your email text in a word document attachment.

The Mailchimp software does not allow us to paste flyers or images into the body of the email. Please send text only for inclusion in Mailchimps.

We would like to keep Mailchimps to a limit of one per week (or less) if possible. We are all inundated with emails everyday. In order for Mailchimp alerts to be an effective communication tool, they should be used sparingly.  The goal is for parents to pay attention when one appears in their in-box. Chairs need to think about their events and activities, plan when they would want to schedule a Mailchimp if necessary and communicate that to the editors in a timely fashion.