A Parent’s Perspective
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A Parent’s Perspective. Presented by Michele Kulesza Parent Consultant Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit (814) 836-0870 ext. 5258 [email protected] In study after study, it is found that successful, responsive and productive schools share one common trait: In these schools……

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A Parent’s Perspective

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A parent s perspective

A Parent’s Perspective

Presented by

Michele Kulesza

Parent Consultant

Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit

(814) 836-0870 ext. 5258

[email protected]


A parent s perspective

  • In study after study, it is found that successful, responsive and productive schools share one common trait:

  • In these schools……

  • Parents are not ignored…..they are invited.

  • Parents are not avoided…..they are consulted.

  • Parents are not discouraged from complaining….they are encouraged to communicate.

LD Online - Rick Lavoie (2008)


The right attitude

The Right Attitude

  • All families have strengths.

  • Parents can learn new techniques.

  • Parents have important perspectives about their children.

  • Most parents really care about their children.

  • Cultural differences are both valid and valuable.

  • Many family forms exist and are legitimate.

  • Scholastic.com – Teachers/article/communicating-parents-and-families


Relationships with parents

Relationships With Parents

Strategies to Help Build Positive Relationships with Parents


Strategies to help build positive relationships with parents

Strategies to Help Build Positive Relationships With Parents

  • Let parents know how to contact you, i.e., phone, certain time of day, email, etc. Communicate this with parents early on so they know the protocol for communication with you.

  • Offer digital technology to keep parents informed of happenings in your classroom; a daily diary on the school’s web page, a Facebook page, a Twitter account are just a few.


Strategies to help build positive relationships with parents1

Strategies to Help Build Positive Relationships With Parents

  • Make a “sunshine call” before you have to call with a concern. This will enhance your credibility with the parent for those times that you must communicate negative information.

  • Contact parents immediately if there is an issue with behavior, performance, attitude, etc.

  • Don’t wait until a crisis occurs!


Strategies to help build positive relationships with parents2

Strategies to Help Build Positive Relationships With Parents

  • Don’t use jargon when communicating with parents. It is very intimidating and becomes an obstacle to effective communication when used with parents.

  • Take the parent’s behavior seriously, but don’t take it personally. Learn how each parent communicates their concerns.


Strategies to help build positive relationships with parents3

Strategies to Help Build Positive Relationships With Parents

  • Be Positive! When having to discuss concerns with parents, always supplement a concern with a positive statement. Parents will digest the information better and won’t shut down before you even begin.

  • Treat each parent as a “unique parent”. What one parent may want for their child, another parent may want and handle the issue in a completely different manner.


Strategies to help build positive relationships with parents4

Strategies to Help Build Positive Relationships With Parents

  • Don’t be overly judgmental about their appearance, attitude, values, knowledge or their lack of involvement in their child’s program. Also, acknowledge the changes in the American family.

  • Provide parents with resources, supportgroup information, community resources, etc.


Strategies that make parents feel welcomed at school meetings

Strategies That Make Parents Feel Welcomed at School Meetings


Strategies that make parents feel welcomed at school meetings1

Strategies That Make Parents Feel Welcomed at School Meetings

Convenient Time of Day, Week- Most parents prefer before school, after school, evening, etc. Ask the parent when it is convenient for them. It is very important for parents to attend but if it is not at all possible, maybe a phone conference or a video conference (Skype) might be more convenient.

  • Let parents know its ok to bring someone to the meeting.


Strategies that make parents feel welcomed at school meetings2

Strategies That Make Parents Feel Welcomed at School Meetings

Comfortable Waiting Area- Create a parent-friendly environment throughout the school building. A waiting area for parents can help set a positive tone for the meeting.

If at all possible, don’t have the parents wait in the office area and don’t let the parents walk into the meeting alone.


Strategies that make parents feel welcomed at school meetings3

Strategies That Make Parents Feel Welcomed at School Meetings

Introductions- Introductions and nametags to identify meeting participants, professional roles are helpful. Meet with the parent with the least number of school personnel needed at the meeting.Give a copy of the sign-in sheet to the parents so they will remember who was there when reflecting about the meeting at a later date.


Strategies that make parents feel welcomed at school meetings4

Strategies That Make Parents Feel Welcomed at School Meetings

A Secure Conference Setting- Remember, parents are meeting with school personnel on “school turf”. Parents often feel like outsiders and may be fearful and hesitant because they are in a new setting.

Use a table and don’t sit behind your desk. Try

to make the meeting informal as possible,

offer coffee or something to drink.

Try to limit outside distractions.


Strategies that make parents feel welcomed at school meetings5

Strategies That Make Parents Feel Welcomed at School Meetings

Clarify What the Meeting is About - Clarify the reason for the meeting and the time allotted for the expected outcomes. A few minutes spent at the beginning of the meeting to clarify these matters can be beneficial.

Please don’t start the meeting off announcing that you have to leave the meeting for another meeting………


Strategies that make parents feel welcomed at school meetings6

Strategies That Make Parents Feel Welcomed at School Meetings

Additional Opportunity for Input

Parents need to be given several opportunities to ask questions. Ask the parent what works for them at home. What strategies does the parent feel may work? This will help the parent feel like their input is valued and a true partner in the process.


Strategies that make parents feel welcomed at school meetings7

Strategies That Make Parents Feel Welcomed at School Meetings

Follow-up– Call or email the parent a couple of days after the meeting. This can give the parents additional opportunity to ask questions and clarify about what took place at the meeting.

A follow up phone call or email shows the parent that you care and you will most likely follow through with any concerns the parent may have!


A parent s perspective

Michele Kulesza

Parent Consultant

Parent Support Center

Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit

252 Waterford St. Edinboro, PA 16412

(814) 735-5610, ext. 5258

[email protected]

http://www.iu5.org/sites/ParentSupport


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