The quick answers:
~I staple our weekly newsletter with all the grades and pass them out on Tuesday afternoon. Time-3 minutes.
~ One student passes out any school fliers at the end of the day when we are packing up. Oh, and I tend to throw them up in the air for students to catch. No really. It's faster than passing them out one by one. You should try it. :)
The more complicated answer:
My returning papers has somewhat gone high tech. because each child has their own laptop. Not only can I see, virtually, what is missing, but so can my students and parents. I post all grades online using Snapgrades.com. I can post a note telling a student that they scored poorly on an assignment and need to review X,Y, and Z again...and to come and take the assignment from the file...or that they turned in an assignment and it wasn't complete. It's awesome!
And regarding school news, most of that is now streamlined with a frequent on-line school newsletter (sent 2-3 times a week), automatic phone calls for school events, Facebook for the school and for our classroom, and emails. It's actually a challenge NOT to know what is going on now. :)
Hope that helps!
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