Sunday, 15 November 2015

Making the Connection Between School and Home

Schools are always looking for better ways to connect with parents. Ensuring that parents are informed about student progress is enshrined in legislation, and just makes good sense. After all we're all partners in making sure the students we share are well supported and that parents feel well informed and connected to their school. Connections can come in many forms ranging from the traditional newsletters, through interim and formal report cards, right through to electronic messaging and social media.

The duty to keep parents informed is clearly outlined in the School Act and a multitude of ministerial orders and the School Regulation. Parents can find a detailed description of the duty to report at the Ministry of Education website's  reporting page.   In part, this page outlines that "during the school year, Boards of Education will provide parents of students with at least five reports describing students' school progress. Three of the reports will be formal written reports and two will be informal reports".

Beyond reporting, schools also use a variety of communication methods to connect with parents. Most parents are familiar with the traditional school newsletters, printed periodically and handed out to be carried home by students. While many students do faithfully bring bulletins home, there is always the fear that newsletters are disappearing into desks, bottomless book bags or lockers and that their messages don't get through. Increasingly schools and teachers are turning to electronic, digital and online means of messaging. School web pages provide another means of providing information and can be found by accessing the schools tab at the district web site. Some schools have embraced social media and have established Facebook pages that interested parties can "like" to keep up with whats happening. If you are a Facebook user, you can easily find out if your school has such a page by typing the school's name into the search bar.

With computers and smart phones becoming more common, many teachers are starting to use email, text apps and other electronic media to connect with parents.  Its easier than ever to make the connection between home and school. If you are curious about how your school is working to improve the home school connection, give the office a call, check out their web page or even give Google a go to see what they might have posted online. Making that connection will help everyone to keep on top of education matters.

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