Schools establish timely, two-way communication systems with parents, develop strategies to involve parents and community in the learning process, and allow parents and community some voice in key school decisions. Educators document ongoing positive family communication on a consistent basis. Schools establish systems to contact families with concerns and information about specific interventions. Staff and families meet when students are referred for interventions (Tier 2 and 3) to discuss students’ strengths and areas of concern.
Tips from Parent Advisory Council members:
- Ask parents how to best communicate with them. Offer choices such as e-mail, phone, social media, or text messaging.
- Use multiple modes of communication, including text notifications and digital media, to communicate with families. For example, alert parents to upcoming school events using voice mail and text messages.
- Provide parents with constructive feedback about their children. Send home a weekly log from the teacher with a system or place for parent feedback. Ask students to submit work via Google Docs. Teachers can share teacher feedback with the student and parent on Google Docs.
- Hang data mini-posters or signs about student achievement in conspicuous places such as hallways, entrances, classrooms, for students and parents to see.
- Give parents rubrics to help them understand how student grades are determined for school quarters or for classroom projects or papers.
To support families, the Pecatonica Area School District surveyed families and found that many parents employed beyond district boundaries were using resources in neighboring communities. As a result of the survey, administered online and sent home, the district has re-structured before-and after-school programs and 4-year-old kindergarten to fit with parents’ job schedules. In addition, child care programs are offered through the school district for breaks and no-school days during the school year.
At Notre Dame Middle School, all correspondence is bilingual. All parents meetings are translated into Spanish.