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Connecting School & Home

Suzie Boss Journalist and PBL advocate

What helps you foster good communication between home and school?
I'm looking for suggestions of technology tools, strategies, and resources that lead to strong connections and productive dialogue about everything from homework help to resource needs for the classroom.
We'll be sharing your best ideas in an upcoming Edutopia guide. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
~Suzie

Comments (11)

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Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Good Communication is key

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In our district, there can be mountains made out of molehills caused by a lack of understanding of why certain decisions get made they way they do, and someone misinterpreting a decision and blowing it up into an "ordeal". I want to work on a way that each of our school principals can have the email addresses for all parents, so when they get wind of some crazy story making its way through the grapevine, they can simply send out an email that says something like:
"It's come to my attention that some folks don't understand our new Halloween Party policy. We have decided to let each teacher decide three class party days for the school year, to prevent loss of instructional time for the children, and some teachers have opted against having a large Halloween party for their classroom this year. If you have any concerns about his matter, please feel free to email me directly at ____or call me between (hours) and I'll be happy to discuss the matter further."
By cutting off the rumor mills and Oliver Stone-like conspiracy theories as to why things may be changing, a quick email from the top would be great and prevent silly things from getting out of hand. Likewise, making parents feel informed and that decisions are made with a lot of thought and contemplation will make sure that they gain a bit more trust and are les likely to fly off the handle at small things.
Working on building good and reliable communication channels between school and home builds trust. In fact, calling home or emailing home with good news every once in a while will buy you more political capital with parents and build trust than almost anything else. It's simple and free.

Just think how awesome it would be to get an email from school saying "We had a school assembly today and all of the children were attentive and asked really interesting questions. I was so proud of our students, and you should be as well- you are raising great kids with lots of curiosity! I hope you'll let them share what they learned today at dinner. I just wanted to take the time to let you know how much I'm enjoying teaching your children this year, and how wonderful each of them are in their own, unique way. Thank you again, - "
The element of surprise, sincerity and good news will, at the very least, make sure your next emil is opened.

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