Parents and family members often attend registration and open house events at the onset of the school year. Oftentimes at those opening events, families learn the name of the grading program, LMS, or communication system used by the teachers and school, but they are not given opportunities to ask for guidance and support in using those tools effectively.
What if we used those introductory static events to survey additional needs those family members have, and design an evening or weekend event that addresses their questions and offers opportunities to learn how best to support both the family members and the students during the upcoming school year.
All families who complete the survey would be invited to the Family Connections event held in the fall (October). The intention of this event would be to help address general family questions regarding how to support student success in school. This would be the first of three events. The second event would be held at the beginning of February, with the intention of reinforcing previously addressed concerns (like how to use technology to support learning), but also additional concerns that may how developed since the onset of the school year. For more specific needs, this would be a time when parents who have child-specific questions could be directed to the correct individual for help and guidance. The final Family Connections meeting would be hosted in the spring (May) as a kick-off to summer. Final questions would be addressed, and families would be offered information about summer resources for supporting fun summer learning. Community connections could also be brought to family members’ attention at that point, including public library resources, local camps, and local business learning opportunities.