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Kid Companions- Chewelry: Nov 10, 2010

November 10, 2010

How Schools Communicate With Parents

I have been wearing three hats, that of teacher, that of parent and that of Special Needs parent, for 35 years. Like the saying: “There are two sides to every story”, the much talked about problems with communication between parents and schools, have two sides also. Today’s post is to show the strategies School Boards, schools and teachers have in place to diffuse the required information to parents.

Could there be improvements in reaching information to parents? Most likely…but my first tip is to read and save in a binder or folder all the documentation mentioned below. You will be surprised how many of your questions are already answered.

The following are all the ways most schools try to be in touch with their parents:
*Often parents of Special Needs children, who have an IEP, meet with the child’s support team at the end of a school year to make a smooth transition for the coming school year.

*School staff is always working in school a few days at the end and the start of a school year, therefore if problems have come up, you can set up a meeting at those times.

*Most School Boards give each family or child documents at the start of the year outlining the broad guidelines, information, contact names, phone numbers, addresses…

*Your school adds to the above documents what information pertains to your particular school.

*Through out the year, the schools inform parents by sending home new information in their child’s school bag.

*Parents are invited to the School Board, PTA/Home & School meetings and school events.

*Your teacher also sends home his/her guidelines and added to this, the Art, Gym and Music teachers have send-outs too.

*Through out the year teachers send notes home and I even had a class journal with one daily entry chosen at the end of each day and sent home monthly.

*Nowadays most schools boards and schools have web sites, Facebook pages and teachers have email communication with parents.

*At the entrance inside each school, current news and information is on bulletin boards/electronic boards.

*Our school even has a message board on the side of the main road with upcoming reminders.

*At the start of each year ‘Open House’ sessions are held in the evenings with each teacher giving a 30 minute info session in her classroom. Usually the sessions are staggered so parents may attend two or three sessions to get a chance to meet more teachers the same evening.

*Some schools have the teachers in their classrooms 30 minutes before each PTA/Home & School meeting for parents to come in and chat.

*Lastly there are all the ‘one on one’ meetings with parents after each report card is sent out and all the other conferences requested by parents or by the teacher.

Our school systems are continually striving to please and inform parents. Sharing information is essential and both teachers and parents are responsible for making it happen. Watch for my next post outlining why, when and how to talk to your child’s teachers.

What other ways does your school system communicate with you?

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