Did you know that effective parent-teacher communication is a huge factor in a student’s success at school?
Students benefit from strong communication between their parents and their school. Good communication strengthens parent-teacher relationships, increases parental involvement in their kids’ school life, and increases students’ motivation. It also has positive effects on students’ academic performance. That’s why it is essential that a school knows how to effectively communicate with parents.
With today’s technology, there are several ways schools and parents can communicate. Hampton Lutheran has worked hard the past few years to adopt communication methods using the most up-to-date technology to make communication quick, convenient, and accessible for both teachers and parents.
Hampton Lutheran also aims to find balance between one-way and two-way communication methods. One-way communication is often useful when we send out announcements or reminders about events. And two-way communication helps parents engage in the conversation.
With two-way communication methods—such as text message, social media, or email—parents can respond to a message or ask questions, or even start a conversation with the school or teacher directly. Both types of communication are valuable for parent-school relationships, and HLS makes both available for parents and teachers.
10 Ways Hampton Lutheran Communicates With Parents
Hampton Lutheran communicates with parents in several ways using technology and, of course, face-to-face conversations. Here are the platforms and tools HLS uses to connect with parents.
Remind is a mass texting app that sends parents messages from the school and from their child’s teacher. We use Remind on a daily basis, and it’s probably the most used form of written communication between parents and teachers. Parents can receive Reminds via text, email, or through the Remind app, making it an effective and accessible communication method.
A text from Remind can be anything from “Icy roads, 10 AM start” to “Hey, fourth graders, remember there’s a math test tomorrow.” We also use the platform to send reminders to parents to send back field trip forms or bring a sack lunch for a field trip.
Email reaches a large group of people, including our school families and friends and supporters of Hampton Lutheran. Often emails are paired with Reminds. Reminds are short, while emails give longer, more detailed information.
And parents know they can always reach the school office or their child’s teacher via email.
3. Church bulletins
Hampton Lutheran uses church bulletins to present information to the Zion and St. Peter congregations about upcoming events and school-related announcements. Because the churches support the school, communication is vital between the two entities. Church members are also encouraged to sign up for the HLS monthly newsletter to receive news and information digitally.
4. Weekly and monthly email newsletters
Hampton Lutheran sends weekly and monthly email newsletters to parents and community members to keep everyone up-to-date and informed on what’s happening at the school.
The Friday Note email newsletter goes out to parents every Friday during the school year and highlights upcoming events and announcements that parents need to know about. It also includes the next week’s lunch menu, the monthly chapel offering, and recent HLS blog posts. The newsletter keeps parents updated and lets HLS quickly get the word out about an event or announcement if it didn’t make it into the monthly newsletter. And parents can refer to the Friday Note email on the go at any time on their smartphones to check the calendar or lunch menu.
Our monthly newsletter is sent via email or mailed to parents, church members, and anyone who is interested in staying up-to-date with HLS. The monthly newsletter highlights announcements, describes the monthly chapel offering, and lists events by date. The newsletter also shares a recent article from the LCMS’s School Ministry Mailing as well as recent HLS blog posts that parents and community members might enjoy reading.
In the last section of the monthly newsletter, Classroom News, one of the HLS teachers writes about neat projects, field trips, and lessons their classroom has done. Classroom News showcases the innovative and fun activities each classroom is doing, keeping parents updated about their kid’s class as well as giving them a sneak peak at what their kid might do in the upper grades at HLS.
5. Social media
Hampton Lutheran maintains active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay in touch with parents and welcome prospective parents to the school. HLS uses social media to share photos of class activities and field trips so parents can see what their kids did at school each week.
We also post about events and announcements on social media, and we share blog posts we’ve published so parents can easily find our latest blog posts.
The HLS site also has an active blog where we share ideas, information, and resources with parents. Some blog posts give parents an inside look at HLS events and programs; some show what teachers are doing in their classrooms so parents can see what their kids are learning. Other blog posts talk about the teachers themselves so parents can get to know the wonderful people teaching their children. And some blog posts share tips and ideas that parents may find useful.
Gradelink is our online platform that parents can use to track children’s grades and record of tuition payments. The school website is also operated through Gradelink, and the program offers links to the teachers’ individual classroom websites.
8. Friday folders
As the name implies, Friday folders come home at the end of the week with necessary information. Parents look for field trip forms, sign up sheets, graded tests, and paper copies of the newsletter as well as other forms of information. This information is not sent home randomly to be lost in the bottom of the book bag. The folder is cleared out and sent back on Monday with items that need to be returned to the school.
Texting is a quick, acceptable two-way method of communication that Hampton Lutheran teachers uses with individual parents. Teachers check their phones in the morning for information about students who are late or out sick.
10. Face-to-face conversations
Perhaps most importantly, teachers talk to parents face-to-face in the hallways before and after school and in parent-teacher conferences. These in-person conversations are vital to students’ success: Children whose parents and teachers talk face to face are more likely to complete homework assignments, participate in class, feel positive about school, and earn higher grades.
Meeting with parents on a daily basis is a joy and gives the school a family atmosphere. It is vital that parents and school staff work together to ensure each student’s success. These daily conversations can range from discussing problems or concerns to sharing the simple joys of life together as friends.