An honest, open relationship between schools and parents contributes to the welfare of the students. To get there, schools need to build effective and transparent communication systems. This article talks about how schools can go about this.
In earlier days, school-parent communication was mostly indirect. Notices, assignments, results, and other school related news was conveyed through diaries or blackboard notifications. The few times that teachers and parents came face to face were during parent-teacher meetings that came up about 2-3 times in a session. But, just one or two meetings throughout the academic year make no real difference.
Through the years, parents’ involvement in school activities and their ward’s performance has increased. Parents want to stay in the loop of school policies and developments. Studies also indicate that students fare better when parents are involved in their child’s academic life. It is therefore no surprise that schools are making efforts to facilitate and enable a convenient and friendly communication pattern.
Flaws of traditional school-parent communication patterns
The communication systems of earlier times suffered from the following flaws:
- Indirect communication
- Delay in important notices reaching parents
- Inadequate collaboration or discussion on student’s academic development
Why parent involvement should be encouraged
Some schools hold the opinion that parental involvement can turn into interference. That’s not true when schools define the boundaries of communication and also take parents’ feedback in the right spirit. In fact, the better the quality of the parent- school relationship, better the chances of valid feedback getting incorporated into school workflows.
Schools should welcome and encourage active parent involvements because it:
- Has a positive impact on the overall development of a student
- Is effective in supporting support a child in learning and achieving
- Helps teachers understand a student
- Reduces the chances of a student’s specific needs getting overlooked
- Can bring new perspectives and information to the school
- Can supplement observations, tracking, and communication around external school events
- Allows constructive feedback to flow down to the school and teachers
- Augments parent’s loyalty to the school
So how do schools actually get this going – without investing too much time and budget?
The answer lies in harnessing the versatility of technology!
Bridging the parent-teacher communication gap with technology
The world has moved ahead from sticky notes to digital reminders. In much the same way, schools and parents can connect via multiple channels such as SMS, email, school website, phone calls, and online school ERP like My School Campus.
Technology for parents
Most parents these days own gadget smartphone or a laptop/desktop. They can log into dedicated school portals and connect with administrators and teachers to:
- Stay updated on school related news, homework, assignments, exams, results
- Convey vital information to the teacher
- Receive SMS, email or phone
- Contact school and teachers in real-time
- Receive instant feedback from teachers regarding their ward’s performance
Technology for schools
Schools need an integrated system like a cloud based school management system to streamline work processes. Implementing technology can help schools:
- Deliver instant updates to parents
- Reduce paperwork with digital notices and records
- Communicate effectively with parents via SMS or email
- Generate reports automatically for timely delivery to parents
- Easily track, analyze and communicate student’s performance
Technology for teachers
Technology can help teachers:
- Communicate important details about the student’s academic performance
- Send timely updates regarding student’s scholastic output
- Be easily accessible to parents over phone, SMS or email
- Keep parents in the loop of school or class activities
- Easily schedule meetings with parents
The integration of technology empowers parent‐teacher relationship by providing easy, efficient, and effective methods of exchanging information outside of school hours and from anywhere. The ability to link homes and schools – two fundamental places of learning for a student –with technology leads to better learning outcomes for students. That’s the main goal of a school, teacher and parent after all, isn’t it?
Using My School Campus, one school reduced the number of incoming calls from parents by almost 80%! With parents getting informed on school events and other activities on a timely basis via SMS and in-app notifications, the need just didn’t rise.