Building positive relationships with families is like putting money in the bank! Yes, it takes effort and valuable time, but the investment is absolutely worth it. The MTSS process provides several strategic opportunities to connect with families and partner together to support students.
When problems arise, those investments in relationships pay off because teachers and families have previous positive interactions and information to draw on. In fact, researchtells us that increased family engagement impacts student engagement and student success in school. We can’t afford NOT to connect with families!
With all that teachers (and parents) have on their plates, it can be hard to keep that relationship “bank” in the green. Here are some easy-to-use ideas and strategies to help schools and parents connect and collaborate:
Make the first introduction to MTSS for families a simple and positive message about how your school supports all students, including those that need extra help. Share this brief slide deck with families during back-to-school events, conferences, or a family engagement night.
Making phone calls can be a challenge, especially if you are worried about being clear and understood by parents. A simple phone script can be extremely helpful for new or even veteran teachers. Remember to make the first call a proactive, positive one!
“YOU SHOULD KNOW…” Getting to know students and their families takes time, especially if you have more than one section of students. A simple survey for families provides meaningful information and connection points with your students.
5. PARENT COMMUNICATION LOG
It’s important to track parent contact, both to ensure that all parents are getting the information they need, and that parents of struggling students aren’t overwhelmed with redundant or negative communication.
Using an online MTSS platform like BRM streamlines communication and enhances collaboration by allowing everyone on a student’s team to see basic details of all parent contacts, whether by phone, email, or in person.
Larissa Napolitan is the Content Copywriter for Branching Minds. As a former middle school English teacher and instructional coach, she has over 13 years of experience building systems for improvement, training and coaching teachers in new technology and instructional methods, and leading efforts to build curriculum and literacy initiatives. She holds Masters's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction and Education Administration from Emporia State University. Not only is she passionate about using her experience and academic knowledge, but loves to use her writing to make a broader impact on education, teachers, and students.