Improving Communication

Improving Communication

This module emphasizes the value of communication between home and school that is ongoing, two-way and meaningful. It also points to communication as the foundation of solid partnerships and the fact that when parents and educators communicate effectively, positive relationships develop, problems are more easily solved and students make greater progress.

Click on the buttons below to begin with a self-assessment for communication practices in your school community. Each button is directly tied to practices, research, NM Teacher Competencies, videos and resources in English and Spanish.

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Family Involvement Ideas: Communication


Use the following checklist of ideas to determine those you can incorporate into your family involvement program.

  • I know strategies for getting parents to attend meetings at school such as making sure they know they're genuinely invited. A personal invitation often makes a difference in the effort to attend.
  • I establish friendly contact with parents early in the year.
  • I don't wait until it's too late to tell parents about potential or serious problems. Early contact helps.
  • I focus on the strengths of students and families.
  • I know how to deal with angry parents by separating the parent from the argument. I use active listening. I don't get angry. I look for areas of agreement.
  • I provide a short parent newsletter regularly.
  • I use short surveys to identify family attitudes about the school and classroom.
  • I send "quick notes" home on the day something happens.
  • I put up "Welcome" signs in every language spoken by the students and parents at my school.
  • I use voice mail or e-mail to keep parents up-to-date on such things as homework and school activities.
  • I make sure any automated voice messages are easy to use and do not frustrate parents.
  • I ask parents to fill out a "Contact Sheet" with their home and work addresses and phone numbers as well as the best times to be contacted.
  • I use refrigerator notes and tell students to share them with their families.
  • I understand that a key reason for parent non-involvement is lack of information. One memo won't do.
  • I try letters, notes, signs, calls, the newspaper, radio and TV.
  • I share experiences I have had with my own children to break down barriers, get me out of my "role" and help parents see me as a parent too.
  • I arrange to have announcements made on local radio stations in the native languages of parents.
  • I send announcements to the tribal newspaper or tribal/chapter house meetings.