George Lucas Educational Foundation

Connecting School & Home

Connecting School & Home

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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

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Kyla R. Johnson-Trammell's picture

First, I believe it's important to understand your community demographics--do the majority of your parents have access to technology or do you need a hybrid approach where you still have vibrant analog communication systems? Is your student/parent population linguistically diverse? Do you have many different types of families--single, divorced, same-sex/traditional, adopted?

I am a former principal of a school that is diverse in every sense of the word-race, socioeconomic, language, disabilities and family structure. I found that I had to revamp my notions of effective home-school communications--newsletters, Back-to-School Night and parent conferences were not enough. I had to create cyber communication structures while maintaining vibrant phone trees/informal communication on the yard and support groups for some of my marginalized communities within my larger parent community--parents of autistic children, adopted parents whose children were of a different race. I created these support groups by hosting focus groups with different subgroups of my parent community and then hosting a variety of diversity nights with parent/staff panels. These various communication structures enabled parents to build relationships with one another, learn how to be an effective parent advocate and feel more empowered and comfortable to be involved with their child's education.

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