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Improving Family/School Communication at G&P

Improving Family/School Communication at G&P
Posted on 01/04/2016
By Lauren Morse

G&P Families – we hear you loud and clear. The Steering Committee has analyzed the results from the G&P Family/School Communication Survey conducted in the Spring of 2015. The results were clear: Overall, families were satisfied with the communications and engagement at G&P while there were a few specific areas of improvement. Parents were most interested in more information about their child’s progress, how to help him/her succeed and about school updates about curriculum and program changes. Parents want to continue to receive information in a variety of formats: conversations with teachers, emails and newsletters and through messages from their children. Parents enjoyed and felt most welcomed at Family Breakfasts. Based on the results of the survey as well as conversations within the Steering Committee, we have developed the following recommendations. Tony plans to discuss these results and recommendations with staff in early 2016.
  • Utilize Family Breakfasts, which have incredible participation from parents, as a way to do more family engagement about curriculum and how to help children at home. The Kindergarten classes piloted two successful parent gatherings after Family Breakfasts where our ELA and Math Coaches provided additional information about Fundations and Math in Focus.
    Do outreach to families with limited access to Graham & Parks because their children ride the bus to see if an event in their neighborhood would be helpful.
  • Weekly Newsletters from teachers about class-specific activities (via email/blog/print) are popular among parents but very effort-intensive for teachers. We will explore ways to support frequent communication with families without over-burdening our very hard working teachers!
  • Streamline paper copies: Starting in 2016, we will be using the Courier system for sending home flyers through backpacks. For those of you with G&P siblings, instead of receiving multiple copies of the same information, you will now receive school-wide handouts (Newsletters, flyers, etc.) from only one child, who will be designated as the “Courier” for your family. Our student data system automatically chooses which child, but if you’d like to change it, please see Mrs. D in the front office. Using this Courier system will save us thousands of copies per month and valuable staff time!
  • At the beginning of the next school year:
    –Distribute handout at the beginning of the year explaining how G&P communicates with families and how to stay informed and involved
    –Include a survey in the annual enrollment forms to identify preferred meeting times, necessary languages for translation/interpretation, childcare and transportation needs and other requests
  • Run a similar survey on an annual basis, possibly in Oct./Nov. so that we can implement the changes during the current school year, if necessary. If you have any additional feedback, feel free to contact Lauren at lmorse@cpsd.us or 617.349.6577 x115.