Let's get those parents engaged!
Here are the 4 big ideas...
Holding your own parent focus group with the sole focus of how to better communicate with and engage parents. The focus group discussion is where you get to the rich answers. Simply sending out surveys will get lite answers. In the discussion, parents hear other parent ideas and agree or disagree and embellish. There is no exact recipe for parent engagement since every population is different. A focus group can give you ideas designed for your school.
When teachers and staff send home information, one way to organize it is to ask 3 questions.
Help parents connect what their kids are learning with what they can do to help. Talk about what kids are learning not just the upcoming bake sale.
It’s a double whammy when the students do the parent communication. Every parent wants to see and hear or read their student. We all just care about our own kids and there is nothing wrong with that. In elementary school, students can use ClassDojo, SeeSaw or a district communication tool to record themselves sharing learning and updates with their parents. Need parents to come to back to school night? Have their kid record a persuasive speech and send it to their parents.
In the higher grades Catlin Tucker has a great idea to have students email their own parents while CCing her.
When asking for parent feedback don’t just ask “how are we doing?” Instead ask “How can we do better?” The goal is to always be improving. Don’t ask a question where the answer can be “good.” Ask a question that provokes ideation and projects that you really want to get better.
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