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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LD Online - Rick Lavoie (2008)
Strategies to Help Build Positive Relationships with Parents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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………
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.
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!