As we get ready to go back to school in the not so far away future, I’ll share three steps to starting the year off in a way that builds and fosters strong school-home partnerships!
1. Send home a warm and inviting summer introduction letter!
I have posted more about this in a separate post, but sending home an engaging summer letter that gets their child excited about the adventures of the new school year is so crucial! This will help them to feel connected to you before they send their little one off on the first day!
2.Send home an “On Our First Day!” letter.
This is something I just started doing this past year and parents commented throughout the year about how much they appreciated it! I did not differentiate this for each student, but instead made it ahead of time! I took a picture of our classroom and one of our bulletin boards! You could also include a photo of the welcome bulletin board (if you don’t have time to insert one with student work), your morning message, or photos of books you’ll read the first day.
Here’s a sample of what my one page letter looked like:
3.Call every parent the first week!
I know this sounds like a big feat because the back to school season is buzzing with activities and todo lists!… But being a parent myself, I know how much it means to me to know my child is valued and worth a quick call! After all, they send their little treasured loved ones to us each day!
Here’s a quick and generic “First Home Communication” Sheet I use.
4.Set up a communication routine.
I like to collect parent preferred contact information early on in the year. At latest I collect this information at back to school night/ open house, but I often send home a basic information collection page the first day!
A new discovery of mine has been a service called Remind! I set up a class, have parents sign up and join, and then I can quickly and easily communicate with them throughout the school year! (I’ll write more about this soon!)
5. communicate monthly… with pictures!
The communication parents seem to appreciate more than ever are the monthly newsletters I put together and send home full of pictures of the learning activities and projects we’ve done throughout the month. This is such a positive peek into our classroom for parents and has been well worth the time investment! (I’ll write more about this later too!)
Taking these 5 steps can really help to keep parents in the loop, and will make for much stronger partnerships right from the beginning of the year! We all know that stronger partnerships make for a much smoother and enriched school year!