I haven’t been sharing resources for parent engagement in education as much as I have done in the past, but a few articles still catch my attention on Twitter. This summer I saved a few to read that covered the topic, including this one, “The Principal’s Summer Excellence Checklist“. It is always encouraging to find parent engagement strategies included in articles for principals. Three specific questions regarding parents in this one were listed under “communication” and included:
- How and when will you communicate student progress to parents regarding grades, attendance, and behavior?
- How will you leverage social media as a tool to show the great things happening on the campus, and how frequently will you do that?
- How will parents have a venue to express their concerns or frustrations to teachers and administrators in a constructive way, and how will you promote this form of transparency?
I thought they were really good questions to nudge practices and plans into place early in the year.
Another post I read (h/t @Philip_Cummings) was for new principals at the middle school level. It offered 6 success tips, with #5 covering family/community relationships as follows:
No school is successful without effective communication and good relationships with families. But principals know that families are a very small part of their total community. Therefore, they create networks that allow them to advocate with key constituents and influential policy makers whose support is critical. Effective principals:
- Build support networks that reach into all segments of the community, tapping into civic, religious, community, service, or other youth-serving organizations to advocate and build support for their school.
- Talk with and learn from those who can share the history of their school and its role in the community.
- Meet with both supporters and critics of the school to keep lines of communication open and build collaborative relationships.”
I like how both posts highlight open lines of communication and similar considerations.
The ASCD also recently posted, Rethinking Parent Engagement (I think many educators and parents have been rethinking it in the last 5 years or so). The post mentions a proactive approach to parent outreach efforts,
Focus early outreach on relationship building, not information sharing. This will build trust and open those crucial lines of communication, which will be helpful in the future.”
Parent engagement in education may be getting less attention in general now, but I hope the positive practices and outcomes continue to be shared ahead. Communication with parents will always need consideration and planning.