Parent Communication Tips

There are a plethora of resources online providing ideas and guidelines for how to communicate with parents (Google "parent communication strategies for teachers or counselors). Here are some time saving things I've picked up over the years that help streamline parent communication:

-A monthly newsletter that can be emailed (always BCC parents never to share their emails with others)

-Email templates when having to notify parents about failed grades (again BCC parents so they do not see one another's emails but you can log that you contacted multiple parents by email if you have BCC'd a list of them)

-Log all parent communication in a spreadsheet but keep information brief. Log when you've called, emailed parents, note if number did not work what you tried next or if you left a voicemail. Again keep information brief, leave out extraneous details - all logs and emails are apart of the student's educational record so do not log something you wouldn't want to be seen displayed in front of a court as all records we keep can be subpoenaed.  

-Keep your logs to show your admin that you have made contact with parents when intervention or disciplinary action is needed.

 

-Ask the student to call from their cell phone the parent, the parent will usually answer and you'll get the right number the first time. 

-Send good news updates versus bad news updates when student achieve, improve and/or go above and beyond. I've sent mass BCC emails letting parents know that their student did tremendous on a really difficult quiz and the parent response was great, kids continued to be invested with the backing of their parents. 

-Try classdojo, some parents do actually look at the comments you give about students

-Use student work portfolios so parents can see what their students are creating in class

-Have lesson plans and objectives up to date and published online, inform parents so they know where they can check student expectations and due dates, etc. 

-Have a syllabus posted online outlining all class rules, expectations, and units of study. Consider providing extra credit or an incentive for the student if parents sign the syllabus