Parent-school relationships have always been a vital part of student success, but the importance of establishing and maintaining meaningful parent engagement was emphasized by the pandemic.
When schools moved to remote instruction, communication between parents and educators soared. Teachers and administrators worked with students’ families to try to establish stability and continuity. Priorities such as setting up remote learning structures, developing a distance curriculum, and offering social and emotional support required increased collaboration with home.
Parents have become used to increased information and communication from schools.
Now, schools have an opportunity to build on this uptick in parent engagement and establish long-term processes that increase meaningful, two-way communication with students’ families.
The following tips can help teachers and administrators plan, establish, and maintain positive school-home communication processes that support student success.
- Acknowledge and Address Barriers to Parent Engagement
Parents care about their children’s success and many have the best of intentions when it comes to engaging with their child’s school. However, a variety of barriers can get in the way of meaningful parent engagement. Some of these include language barriers, socio-economic barriers, parents’ education levels, parents’ work schedules and responsibilities, and access to technology. Ask parents what would make the process easier for them and discuss solutions for any barriers that are preventing engagement. If there is a language barrier, text-based translation technology can make a big difference for parents and teachers. Remember to set reasonable expectations for response times for both parents and teachers and communicate those expectations.
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