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    Bloomz Blog


    6 Practical Steps for Building Stronger Home-School Relationships

    by Ellen Ullman, on Mar 26, 2024 11:06:53 AM

    If you’re looking to develop robust connections with the families of your students, understanding the critical role of relational trust is paramount, according to Vito Borrello, executive director of the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE). Borrello emphasizes that building trust isn’t merely a box to check off; it requires intentional effort. Here’s a closer look at actionable steps to establish and nurture this type of trust.

    1. See the student through the family’s eyes.
    Understanding students from their family’s perspective can profoundly impact teaching effectiveness. For instance, a teacher who knows a student’s family background, cultural values, and aspirations can tailor their approach to better support the student’s learning journey. “It’s not just about what parents can do but about you learning how to be the best teacher for that child,” says Borrello.

    Example: Imagine a teacher who learns that the child has a passion for music. Integrating music-related activities into lessons engages the student and demonstrates to the family that their input is valued.

    2. Get to know families early.
    Initiate contact with families before the school year begins, if possible. Meet them in environments where they feel comfortable, such as community centers, places of worship, or their homes. Establishing rapport early on can set a positive tone for the entire academic year.

    Host a meet-and-greet session at a local community center the week before school so that the teacher and families can engage in a relaxed setting. This early interaction can foster trust and open lines of communication.

    3. Communicate effectively.
    Tailor your communication methods to meet families’ preferences, whether it’s through text messages, emails, phone calls, or in-person meetings. Use platforms like Bloomz to streamline communication and increase engagement.

    Example: Bloomz lets families choose their preferred communication methods to make sure messages reach them effectively. This demonstrates respect for their communication preferences.

    4. Connect events to learning.
    Transform traditional events, such as ice cream socials, into opportunities for educational engagement. Linking events with curriculum topics not only reinforces learning but also invites families to actively participate in their child’s education.

    Example: Instead of a standard ice cream social, organize a family math or literacy night where families can participate in interactive activities related to classroom lessons. This fosters a sense of collaboration between home and school.

    5. Help parents understand student progress.
    Educate parents about the limitations of relying solely on report cards to gauge student performance. Establishing a strong partnership allows teachers to communicate areas of improvement constructively, involving families in the process of supporting student growth.

    Example: During parent-teacher conferences, provide specific examples of a student’s strengths and areas for improvement, along with actionable strategies for parents to support their child’s learning at home.

    6. Long-term engagement and professional learning.
    Highlight the significance of ongoing engagement with families throughout the school year. Encourage educators to seek professional development opportunities focused on enhancing family-school partnerships, such as workshops or online courses.

    Example: Establish a monthly newsletter dedicated to sharing student achievements, upcoming events, and tips for supporting learning at home ensures consistent engagement with families beyond initial interactions.

    By implementing these strategies and fostering a culture of trust and collaboration, educators can cultivate stronger relationships with the families of their students, ultimately promoting student success and well-being.

    Topics:Parental EngagementFamily Contact