Back to School Parent Communication

Getting Needed Supplies through Parent Contributions

Make a tree about two feet high out of construction paper to put on the bulletin board. Close to the door so that is visible when parents enter the classroom. Label the tree “Our Giving Tree”. Make apples and write on each apple something that the class may need during the school year that the school does not provide. (glitter, feathers, zip lock bags, Kleenex, snacks, etc.) At open house or orientation parents are then invited to take an apple and send in the needed supplies. Also, on a chart paper write: Thank you for taking an apple from our giving tree and contributing to our classroom. In case the parent did not hear the explanation of the Giving Tree. (Barbara, Preschool)

Get Parent Signature Papers Returned

I get plain pocket folders, on the left hand side I write, “LEFT- Work to be left at home”. On the right side of the folder I write, “RIGHT- Work to be read, signed, and brought right back to Mrs. C.” Not only do the students get the important papers back but they also seem to pick up on left and right much faster.  (W Connelley)

Expectations Letter

I am starting out the year by writing a letter to the parent/student giving background information on me and my expectations for the year. Also, I include supplies needed and my classroom rules and policies/procedures. I make a copy of the letter for each child to take home and have the parent sign and return. This eliminates problems later in the year when a student tries to say they didn’t know what my expectations were, etc.  (Fran, 7th)

Class Brochure

I have found that a lot of information needs to be sent home at the beginning of the school year. I put together a brochure using Microsoft Publisher. The brochure has 6 columns. On one column I put my letter to the parent, on another I put information about homework and classwork, school phone numbers, book reports that will be turned in throughout the year, the grading policy, and so on. This is an easy way for parents to gather all the information they need about their child’s classroom and school.  (Tara, 2-3 Teacher)

Highlight Events of the Year with Newsletter

For the beginning of the year make a “Third Grade Highlights” newspaper with activities grouped by 6 weeks for parents to keep…for instance….field trip dates (you will at least know the 6 weeks they will fall in)… What’s expected in A.R. points…. What math facts you are working on… open house, etc. (Mary Seitz, Grade 3)

If You Need Me

On the first day of school, I give parents my “Contact Card.” This card is the size of a business card and it can easily be kept with a parent’s driver’s license or credit cards. On this card is my room number, my home phone number, the school’s phone and fax numbers, and my e-mail address. This way parents have a variety of ways to reach me. This also makes parents feel that you are availible when they need you. (Neitarsha, 4th)

Let Parents & Students Know Expectations

Have a syllabus/overview letter indicating expectations, class rules, supplies and manner of computing grades on the first day of school. Have students and parents sign and return by end of first week. (Alice Phillips, Grades 7-12)

Organizing All Those First Day Papers for Parents

We have a lot of papers to send home the first day. I buy pocket folders for the class. In one pocket I put all of the papers that need to be signed and returned with a sheet in the front labeled “please sign and return.” In the other pocket I put all of the info that needs to be kept and read and put a sheet of paper in front “please keep and read.” I tell the children to return the signed papers in the folder, and then I can reuse the folders at another time. (Claudia)

Positive Parent Communication Before School Begins

I write to each parent before school starts. I include a friendly letter to the child and an introductory letter to the parents. I also include a survey for parents to fill out (form attached at end). I ask parents to fill out the form and mail it back to me before school begins. Then, the weekend before school starts, I call each family and talk to the child and the parent. I ask if they have any questions or concerns. Finally, after the first week of school, I call them again. I always have at least one positive thing to share about their child. By this time, I have parents in the palm of my hand! If I ever need to make contact about a problem, parents know I care about and understand their child. (Ellen Gleitman, 2)

Download Back to School Student Information Sheet (PDF)
Description: Information/volunteer sheet for parents to fill out at the beginning of the school year.

Student information & parent communication

At the first of the year, each child is assigned a heavy duty zip lock bag. In this bag I keep all notes from parents, tardy slips, conduct reports, etc. This enables me to find a child’s information for parent conferences or any other record keeping needs. (Mary F. Carr, 3rd)

Student information/parent communication

At the beginning of the year, I send home a student inofrmation sheet for parents to complete. I place the sheets into a 3 ring binder along with a clear page protector. I use the page protector to collect tardy slips, notes from parents, etc. I have everything I need at my fingertips when I have a parent conference, go on a field trip, or make parent contacts. (Kim Dombrosky, 1st)

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