The need for a strong partnership between schools and families is extremely important, but it can be challenging to figure out the best way to handle home-school communication. When parents, caregivers, community members, and educators work together, children are more likely to develop a positive attitude about school. Students with involved families complete homework more consistently, have higher grades and graduation rates, and have higher self-esteem. Here’s how four districts are making the most of the home-school connection.
Ask the people what they want
As we get more connected, it becomes more complicated on how schools should communicate with parents. We used to send home mailings or give students a parent packet to bring home. So much simpler!
Today, social media, email, phone calls, and text messages are the norm. How do you get principals, central staff, and superintendents to embrace this change of communication? You start with a communication plan that surveys the community to see which platform or platforms they prefer. You will find out very fast they want all of it!
We use phone calls for weather only, social media for events and news, bi-weekly principal emails for updates in each school, and our website for the hub of information. Our superintendent, Dr. Susan Lloyd, @ojrsd_supt, has been a leader in our district using social media, especially Twitter. She has set the bar for all staff to use Twitter and to better communicate to our parents and community.
—Paul Sanfrancesco, director of technology, Owen J. Roberts (PA) School District