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Tool: Lines of communication

A key aspect of promoting effective communication between families and teachers is helping everyone be clear about the lines of communication that are available to them. Teachers may assume parents “know” they can call or e-mail them, or that they have organized a homework or weekly folder system to help parents become involved in their child’s learning. But lines of communication may not be so obvious to parents; and, if they learn about them one at a time, it is hard to keep them all straight.  Therefore, it can be helpful to provide an outline of the various ways communication will take place and to remind parents periodically of the full range available. 

Below is a sample handout that you can adapt to your situation. You could distribute it several times over the course of the year (parent nights, send home with students mid-year, review at parent conferences).  You also could consider adapting this design and laminating it so parents can post it somewhere at home:

Making connections: Lines of communication for families in Room 201

Dear Families, 

I think it is very important for us to have clear and open lines of communication so we can work together to support your child’s learning. Below is a list of the materials and events that will be available to us this year. I also hope that you will make other suggestions to add to our list!

[your name]


Classroom Handbook: explains expectations and procedures (e.g., homework, weekly folders, telephone, e-mail, parent observations, home visits)

Weekly Newsletter: updates you on current events and curriculum topics

Assignment Calendar: lets you know what is due each month

Classroom Website (URL:___): updates you on current events and curriculum topics


Back to School Night: August 28

Parent Conferences: October 12 and March 18

Parent Workshops: November 8, February 10 and April 17

Parent Volunteer Orientation: September 20 and January 12

PDF version for printing .... MSWord version for revising .... RTF version for revising