Are They Listening?
As a parent, it can feel like the school isn’t always listening, and they don’t have perspective with their expectations for students and parents. These mixed messages can be tiring and exhausting for parents. There are some ways to limit this. Consider these ideas on how schools can work to build a sense of belonging with families.
All Welcome Here
An essential aspect of a school’s mission is to make sure that all students and their families feel welcome in all of the learning conversations. Watch this video on how to welcome parents to the building to learn more about what this should feel like and what you should expect from the school.
Source of Pride
When a sense of belonging is central to the partnership between the school and family, families are excited to talk about their school. It is a source of pride, and others can feel your happiness about what the school does for your child. Watch this video on feeling belonging in schools.
Belonging is Key
Working together is only possible when the right ingredients exist. Does your school...
- send messages in a variety of forms to meet your needs?
- share reasons to be proud of the school?
- offer low-risk opportunities to visit the school?
- use student voice in their communication with families?
Keys to Building Belonging in Schools
- Recognize that not all parents had a great school experience and that it can be difficult for them to come to the building and relive those experiences. Why Some Parents Don't Come to School.
- Name the systems and barriers to belonging and work with parents on removing them. This can include barriers of access, language, level of education, and time. The Barriers to Parental Involvement
- Talk about partnership and identify a variety of ways that parents can be a part of the team that supports the needs of students. 68 Parent Involvement Ideas That Really Work
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