Tiogue Elementary School, 410 Students
Coventry, Rhode Island
Louise K. Boyce, Principal
We set the date for Picture Day during the summer, then I set up the schedule -- allowing 15-20 minutes per class.
We use the gym to photograph students and have 2 cameras set-up. The gym has 2 entrances, which helps the flow of students moving in and out.
Communication to students and parents is key. About a month before Picture Day, I include a reminder in my monthly principal newsletter. Then, 2 to 3 weeks before Picture Day, we send home at least a couple notices. We also use e-mail and morning announcements, and put up Picture Day reminder posters all around the school, including the foyer, cafeteria and main office.
I send a separate e-mail to parents about Picture Day, which includes the date and a reminder to bring in their order forms. Overall, e-mail has been the most effective communication tool for us. We do as much as we can to communicate via e-mail in order to conserve paper.
Student recognition is important at our school, so we use Picture Day as an opportunity to recognize students who are well-behaved while waiting in line and being photographed. We try to make a big deal about Picture Day and make students feel special.
I prefer to have the student's regular teacher help them get ready -– rather than their gym teacher or art teacher -- because it helps make the children more comfortable when they know the teacher well. Often the younger students have not had their school picture taken before so they need more attention and extra comfort.
Lifetouch is really responsive. There have been times I've had to change the date and they're very flexible.
I appreciate that Lifetouch gives a lot back to the school and to our community, especially to the students and families. That's why we stay with them. I have been approached by other photographers, but they cannot match Lifetouch in terms of what they give back. I like that Lifetouch has a personal connectedness with our community.