By Heather Ippolito, VP for Family Engagement
Earlier this month we introduced the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships on the blog. You can view that article by clicking here. Today we are going to dig a little deeper into the first standard:
Welcoming All Families Into the School Community
As your local unit begins to think about your back to school events consider these five tips for being as inclusive as possible in welcoming ALL families:
- On forms and paperwork remember to be inclusive in your language. Instead of asking for names of “moms and dads” you can ask for names of parents, caregivers, or guardians. Asking parents for their preferred pronouns is also a great idea!
- Create a “Welcome Packet” for new families. Include coupons for local businesses, maps of the community, a copy of the school newsletter, how to find the school and PTA on social media, and a list of ways parents can get involved at your school including but not limited to:
- School Site Council (SSC),
- English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC),
- Parent Teacher Association (PTA),
- Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and other school or district committees.
- Don’t forget to include a way to join your PTA! Every time a new family enrolls the school office staff can give them the welcome packet.
- PTA volunteers call new families to personally invite them to the back-to-school events, offering to help them find transportation if they need it.
- Survey families (in their home language if possible) to see what kinds of programs they are interested in and what kinds of support they need from the school.
We want to hear from you! What activities have you done to welcome families? Share them with us and we might feature them here on the blog or on our social media channels– simply fill out this quick form and let us know what you’ve done to welcome schools to your campus.