Using Communication to Connect with Minority Families
by Brianna Richard, on May 5, 2021 2:35:39 PM
With all the racial and political unrest throughout the country over the past year, it is no wonder that some minority families have trouble connecting to schools. Many minority families have reported a lack of feeling safe in regards to sending their children back to school. A recent report by the CDC showed a divide in concern for the safety of students. The report surveyed 858 families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Minority families reported they are more fearful and concerned that their children will social distance, wear a mask, and contract COVID 19 more easily than white families. Only 46% of black families and 50% of Latino families felt comfortable returning their children to school while 62% of white families felt comfortable. (Camera, 2020)
With a long history of racial disparities and inequalities, it is understandable why minority families would feel less safe. This is exactly why some school districts are rising to action and working to gain the trust of minority families in order to help their children be successful. College Achieve Public Schools is a network of charter schools located in New Jersey. Students who attend College Achieve are mostly minority families and many come from disadvantaged backgrounds and live in poverty-stricken areas. College Achieve wanted to work with families, gain their trust, open lines of communication, and give parents the tools they need in order to be successful. College Achieve started a weekly virtual program called, “Parent University.” Faculty and Staff run these classes and they are on a variety of subjects that parents might need including how to write a resume and the social-emotional needs of a child. (Mills , 2021)
Providing parents information and tools helps to bring the families and schools together and are incredibly successful in helping students. School districts can take many different approaches to help connect with minority families. Some school districts take a similar approach to College Achieve but prerecord videos or provide the information in a written format using a communication platform like Bloomz. Providing information in languages native to the parents at the school is another way to make families feel more connected. Teachers and administration can also hold regular conferences or group chat’s over coffee where parents are comfortably able to ask questions or voice concerns. Shared calendars and online conference sign-ups can make these meetings easy to set up and make a lasting impact on parents.
With the school year coming to a close, it is a great time to connect with families and end the year strong. How have you connected to minority families in the past? We would love to hear your thoughts with a comment below!
- Mills, G. (2021, December 23). Families of Color Have Good Reasons to Mistrust Schools. We Must Change That.
- Camera, L. (2020, December 10). CDC: Black, Latino Parents More Concerned About School Reopenings Than Whites.
- Photo by marco fileccia on Unsplash