Improving Home-School Connection

Categories: Communication

Let’s Connect

We often talk about creating relationships with students. Research shows again and again that relationships are the cornerstone of all growth. The same can be said for the relationship between home and school. It’s one that needs to be created, nurtured, and maintained. Here are some ways you can strengthen the home-school connection!

Communicate Daily

Depending on your students, this might seem like overkill, but I’m telling you, it builds rapport in a big way. I’d consider using a daily home and school communication book. The Autism Helper has several home-school communication sheets that are perfect for daily use, and even include sheets for parents to fill out so teachers and staff can know what happened after school. For students who are unable to communicate the events of the day, staff can tell parents what happened, what the child worked on and what specials or related services the child had. For students who are ready to communicate on their own, have students fill out their own sheets telling their parents how their day went. Not only does this inform parents on how their child’s day went, you have an opportunity to share if the child runs out of toileting supplies, has dirty clothing in their backpack, or needs snack.

Communication Goes Two Ways

You’ll want to be sure to have a way for parents to easily communicate with you. Using these sheets, parents then have the opportunity to share anything that may affect their child’s day on the adjacent form. From a poor night’s sleep to a new puppy, a change in pick-up to upcoming doctor appointments, parents have a direct line of communication to you every day. Not only does that ease parents minds, you are informing them of how their child is doing daily. Behavior struggles or issues in the classroom should NEVER be a surprise for parents when the team comes together to write an IEP. Not only does this give you a method of communication, depending on how you set it up, it can serves as documentation for things such as parent contact, behavior concerns, naps, toileting, diaper changing, etc.

Share the Good

I want you to imagine that you get a piece of mail giving you bad news. Every day, you get the same piece of mail in the mailbox. No matter how hard you try, you can’t get the mail with the bad news to stop. Every time you open the mailbox your heart starts beating faster and drops when you see the envelope with the bad news. Eventually, you stop opening the mailbox, right? The same goes with communication! If all you do is share the hard, the bad, and the ugly regarding student behavior, the parents are going to eventually stop opening your communication. Share the good – even if it’s the tiniest thing throughout the day, share it! I try to share at least one good thing for each student, each day. 

Consider An Online Platform

I’m big on meeting people where they are at. Most families you encounter will embrace an online platform. With phones, smart watches and tablets, technology is with us wherever we are, 24/7. It only makes sense that teachers use technology to share and communicate. Privacy is obviously a big concern, but if chosen carefully with some guidelines for posting privacy for students can be maintained. There are a zillion options, but I’ve had the most success with my students and families using SeeSaw. It’s simple enough my primary students can use it and it’s pretty intuitive for parents. I describe it as instagram for parents. It’s here that I share my weekly newsletter, videos of students working, and pictures of students completing projects. I video assessments and IEP goal progress and share it with parents, so there are no academic surprises when it’s time for progress reports or to write a new IEP. I’ve shared a video on how I set up SeeSaw to share IEP goal progress. General education teachers can join in, as well as specialists and related service providers. It’s a win-win for me. Parents love it, they get notifications just like a text or instagram, and it allows me to communicate privately with each parent. SeeSaw has an app or can be accessed from your computer or tablet.

Take the Time

When we boil down what successful communication requires between home and school, it’s time. Take the time and put in the energy to communicate with parents in a way that works for them. In the end, you are both working towards the same goals. Solid communication will only help you and your students!


  1. This article is something that I find very important and loved the resources you showed. Do you know where I can find these examples?



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