Schools have used various strategies to improve the way they work with their students' parents and carers.
Below are some examples that provide ideas, inspiration and practical hints about how you can implement Component 3.
If your school has successfully implemented strategies for engaging and working with families, and you would like to share with other KidsMatter schools, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘A note from Wanniassa School’
After completing Component 3 the staff developed the KidsMatter postcard idea to communicate the achievements of students with parents and carer. A commercial printer developed a set of postcards using photos of student artwork. All teachers have a bundle of postcards and use the reverse side to write, ‘A note from Wanniassa School’ to parents and carers to recognise and support the achievements of student.
We use the postcards to make small ‘deposits’ of positive recognition and give respect to individual students. The postcard initiative is an example of the way that we can efficiently generate positive connections between the school and home environments. The postcards were ready to use within three weeks of the idea being adopted.
Jenny Tatham, Senior Executive School Leader
Communicating across the airwaves at Benalla East Primary
An end of year survey showed parent and carer satisfaction increased from 25% to 75% in 2011. Through the KidsMatter Primary processes in Component 3, teachers focused on strengthening connections with families, and the number of interactions increased significantly. Teachers consciously build relationships and use a number of ways to communicate with parents and carers. These include:
• Text messages
• Phone calls
• Face-to-face meetings.
The findings of the school survey highlighted that parents and carers are more likely to respond to text messages and emails than other forms of communication. Some changes in communication include teachers texting parents and carers when students achieve personal goals or complete a project successfully. Class teachers text parents or carers the night before the school assembly when students receive a ‘Student of the Week’ award.
Teachers now feel more involved and the school is connected to all parents through technology ... there is positive ongoing communication rather than contact with families only when things are not going well.
Rick Martin, Principal