- Be the first to make contact with the parents. [See also, “Making Parents Feel Welcome” handout]
Send out an introductory letter about yourself and your program. Include
also good times to reach
you (no negatives) and, if at all possible, include your home phone
number and suggestions about when it is best to call you at home for
those parents with unique schedules. Include a question you would
like them to respond to, like explaining important information they
think you should know about their child.
- Send home weekly/monthly tips for studying. Use simple things
like writing topic ideas, or even just suggestions parents can use.
For example, “Remember, your role in your child’s study program is to
encourage and support him or her.”
- Journaling is a good way to facilitate two way communication
between parents and teachers [See also, Study Plan]. If parent interest
seems low, have the student write in the journal too, or send home completed
student work with the journal and ask parents to comment.
- Create a daily/weekly communication form to use with parents.
- If a student is going on a vacation, require that they complete
some sort of assignment on their vacation on the places they go and
the things that they do. Send a note home describing the assignment
and the role the parent should play helping the student complete it.
If parents are willing, ask them to come in to a classroom and, together
with the child, do a presentation to the class.
- Create lessons to do after students watch a good family movie with
their parents. For example, using Disney movies, send home a copy
of Cinderella for students and parents to read together. Then ask them
to watch the movie and discuss the differences. Or examine Disney songs
for theme, relation to plot, etc.
- Create lessons around TV viewing at home for students to do
with parents. [Make sure this type of work stays within the Partnership
Model by getting parental input on how the assignment went, asking them
for suggestions for new ideas, etc.]
- Encourage parents to set up study times with their children.
If possible, have an in-service with parents on suggestions for how
to do this.
- Host parent/family nights/days at your school. Involve other
teachers and classrooms in this process by asking them to present something
to parents that they are doing in their classroom (puppet show, play,
drawings, etc.). Build these nights around things that parents can do
at home with their children and make sure parents play a role by getting
ideas from them for topics and asking them to be main speakers.
- Order the PTA’s guide for ideas and to see how to measure
the parent involvement at your school.
- Require/Ask parents to evaluate some of their child’s work
instead of you. This could be a general evaluation or a specific one.
If you require a specific method, this could be another idea for a topic
for parent/family nights.
- Spend 10 minutes of every day doing something for parent communication:
send five postcards, make five telephone calls, etc.
- Do an in-service on the computer programs you use in Title
- Ask businesses to help host parent involvement meetings, to
support time off for parents volunteering at the school and family organized
- Make your newsletter a form of two-way communication by asking
parents to write back to you about what the newsletter contains. Also,
ask parents to contribute their own articles, including descriptions
of activities they are doing at home that have been successful for them.
- Workshop topics: education topics like multiple intelligences,
holiday educational games, communication (with students, with parents,
with teachers), study skills/studying at home, using TV as an educational
tool, the writing process and/or developing writing skills, self esteem,
community involvement, creating a personal compact.
- Have a parent bulletin board in your room. Put up information
like upcoming events and ask parents and students to include items as
well. Also, hang up good examples of different students’. Use the board
to request parents to bring something to class, save soup labels, etc.
- Create a video or slide show of what’s going on in the Title
I room. Send this home to parents as a way of showing how their involvement
could help or show it at an Activity night and use it as a way to get
parents in to the meeting.
- Use all the www sites to gather information to send home to parents: