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Common Sense Messaging Apps & Tips to Connect with Families During School Closures

Drawing of parents and teacher exchanging papers

(Image credit: Lisa Nielsen)

Staying connected to families is always a good idea.  It becomes even more important in times of school closures. If possible, it is best to have a system already in place for family communication. Common Sense Education provides advice on how best to communicate and what tools to use to do so. 

Best Messaging Apps & Websites

Common Sense shares apps and websites for texting, messaging, and communication that make it easier for teachers to send out assignments, reminders, and progress reports. They're also great to communicate with families about conferences, field trips, and volunteer opportunities. The list helps you find a tool to keep your communication consistent, reach parents on platforms they're already using, and, in some cases, give students the opportunity to lead the conversation by demonstrating their learning in the classroom.

Power Up Parent-Teacher Communication

Effective parent communication is crucial in helping students learn. But, for busy teachers it can be challenging just to keep up. Apps and other digital tools make it easier to keep everyone -- parents and students -- in the loop. Transparency and equity are key to managing any communication between home and school. Check out the parent-teacher communication materials to find a variety of tools and useful tips to help you better engage your parent audience.

Parent - Teacher Conference Tip Sheet

These three tip sheets—for principals, teachers, and parents—can help ensure that parent–teacher conferences achieve their maximum potential by providing guidance that reflects each person’s role and responsibility in promoting productive home–school communication. Designed to be used as a set, the tip sheets combine consistent information with targeted suggestions, so that parents and educators enter into conferences with shared expectations and an increased ability to work together to improve children's educational outcomes.

Translator for Parents Non-Native Speakers

Learn how to have a live, translated parent-teacher conference using the Translator app. Parents can download the app in advance, scan or enter the conversation code when they arrive, and translations appear on their device in real-time. We even provide fully translated letters you can send to parents in their languages to tell them how to participate.

cross posted at The Innovative Educator 

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several booksand her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times,The Wall Street JournalTech&Learning, and T.H.E. Journal.