Home and School Partnerships
It’s a new school year and what better time to talk about home and school partnerships. For the purposes of this article, the term “school” includes childcare centers, preschools, public and private school systems. To build that relationship and make the partnership work, that requires effort, patience, and determination by the school and the home. Teachers, management, parents, grandparents… etc. must work together for the benefit of the child. Today, we will discuss some of the ways those partnerships are built and maintained.
Schools communicate through many forms of medium.
|1. Letters||2. Calendars||3. Menu’s|
|4. Newsletters||5. Website||6. Social media|
|7. One Call||8. Childcare management web-based software||9. Phone|
|10. Email||11. Parent/Teacher conferences||12. Progress reports|
|13. The child’s work sent home||14. Pick-up and drop-off greetings||15. Flyers|
|16. Brochures||17. Fundraisers||18. Family events|
|19. Orientation Meetings||20. Enrollment interviews||21. Parent Handbook|
|22. Promotional Items|
You may look at some of these things with fresh eyes and think, “Oh! I never thought of that as communication” or possibly wonder why it would be considered communication. It’s often hard to catch a parent at drop-off or pickup. It’s a rush, rush world out there. So, to communicate everything, schools need to communicate through many means. We won’t go over each method listed here, some are self-explanatory, but hopefully, this will open your eyes to the many ways schools try to build and maintain the home and school partnerships.
Calendars let you know what is going on at the school and when. These are prepared to communicate so parents can make sure the child is participating. Fun dress-up days may not seem much to an adult, but oh how the children love it. When the whole class participates, it does have an impact on the class. It bolsters unity and team spirit.
How are fundraisers a form of communication? The materials sent home, hung around the school, posted on social media and the website, let you know that we are raising money for a specific purpose for the center. Fundraisers are for expenses not covered by tuition, registration fees or supply fees. They tend to be your big-ticket items such as classroom furniture, electronic equipment, and big projects. A budget will only go so far, and help is needed from home to complete those big-ticket items.
Promotional items, brochures, and flyers let the public know who the school is and how the community is served through the services provided. These are essential forms of communication to keep the school alive and profitable through growth.
The African Proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” could not be truer in today’s society. “Yet children don’t stop learning about values and relationships when they enter a classroom, nor do they cease learning academics — and attitudes about learning — when they are at home or elsewhere in their community. They constantly observe how the significant adults in their lives treat one another, how decisions are made and executed, and how problems are solved.” Edutopia
In order for a child to reach their full potential in life, they need a support system. That support system is a collection of teachers, parents, grandparents, pastors, coaches, friends, church family, counselors, doctors, librarians…. Etc. Anyone in their life who helps them to develop to their fullest potential. It’s teamwork on the highest level. The school your child attends is the epicenter of your child’s support system. They will make lasting relationships through the contacts they make in school. Think back to your childhood, who was your favorite teacher and how did they impact your life? Were you involved in team sports? How did the coach impact your life? What did you learn from being a part of a team? These are all part of the village raising a child. Parenting is the toughest yet most rewarding job, but raising a child, helping them set goals, teaching them how to survive in this world, meeting and exceeding their potential… those are things that come from their support team… their community.
Parents see the term “parent involvement” and automatically the sighs begin, and the eyes start to roll. It’s not that parents don’t want to be involved, it’s that they often wonder how they could fit something else into their already packed schedules. Therefore, we must change the way parents view parent involvement. It’s not something being added to the schedule, it’s already a part of it… it’s your child. Through becoming a parent, you have already taken the first step in parent involvement. What comes next… the care and education of that child are where the involvement needs the most attention. As a parent, you are greatly concerned about the care and education of your child.
Attending parent/teacher conferences is an important part of the home and school partnership. Schools need to communicate to you the progress of your child. You need to ensure your child is being cared for in the manner you wish. Conference time is a great time to see how the home and school partnership is melding. It’s not an extra step, it’s an essential step in the role you have already taken on.
How could a Winter Festival be important to the home and school partnership? Simple. Parents and teachers don’t often have time to interact on a social, relaxed basis. These school events allow families to meet and that support system we discussed to grow. Children get to experience the school in a way they don’t often get to during class time. It’s a win/win situation for all. These events are put on by the school, often on a volunteer basis by staff, to provide the families with fun activities and a thank you for being such wonderful students and families. Why miss out on something that was created to honor your family? These events are planned well in advance and are often on the annual calendar of events. Take the time to read that calendar and mark those important dates on your calendar.
As parents, we often feel our priority is the financial piece of raising the child. We must work to support our family. That work often leads to missing those other important moments in the child’s life. The care and education of the child is the priority. If the child’s support group all focus on the child as the priority, then the community is truly fulfilling its responsibility and the home and school partnership will thrive. It takes dedication and perseverance to make that happen. Get involved. Stay involved. Be the support system your child needs and deserves. Read the communications sent from school. Pass on the flyers and brochures. Attend the events. Volunteer your time. Communicate with the teacher. Help with the fundraisers. Follow your child’s school on social media. Show your support! Let’s all work hard to make this school year the best ever! Make a child smile!
Author: Belinda Davis ©2018