Communication is a key component to having a fantastic year and an excellent staff. It is essential that administrators, teachers, parents, staff, and students have a clear line of communication. This is a sample of a school communication policy. Its components are listed below. This policy will assist in keeping clear communication lines with the entire school community.
Communications by Teachers from the School to the Home via:
- All teachers will send home a form letter to each student’s parents introducing yourself, highlighting your class, contact information, goals you have for the year, etc. The letter will be sent home the first day of school.
- All letters or notes to parents should be proofread by at least two other faculty members before the note is sent home.
- After the letters have been proofread by two faculty members, they need to be turned into the principal for final approval.
- A copy needs to be made and put in that student’s file of each letter or note sent home to that student’s parents.
- All written communication should be professional, courteous, and have contact information to get back in touch with the teacher.
- Avoid the use of jargon.
- If the letter/note is hand written, make sure that it is legible. If it is typed, make sure that it is at least standard 12-point font.
- Copies should be printed and filed of any correspondence via electronic form.
- Make sure that all text/graphics are large enough to be seen or read.
- Avoid the use of jargon.
- Be sure to run spell/grammar check on any electronic communications.
- Only use electronic communications with parents who have expressed that it is the way they prefer to be contacted.
- You must log off your email every day before going home.
- Be polite and courteous.
- Before you make the call, write down everything you need to communicate with that parent. Be organized with your thoughts.
- Keep a phone log. Record the date, time, and reason for calling that parent.
- Be direct and mindful of the parent’s time.
- If the parent is unable to talk to you at that time, politely ask when would be a good time to call them again.
- If you receive a voice mail; identify who you are, what you are calling about, and leave information for them to return your phone call.
- Dress professionally.
- Create a comfortable atmosphere. Don’t place a desk between yourself and the parents. Use the same type of chair.
- Be prepared! Have your agenda ready. Have materials available that show the good and/or bad of the student.
- Always start the conference out with something positive.
- Be attentive and LISTEN!!!
- Never talk about other students or teachers.
- Avoid the use of jargon.
- End the conference with something positive.
- Let them know that you care about their child.
- If the situation becomes difficult, call the office for assistance immediately.
- Keep a conference journal. Record the date, time, reason, and key points discussed in the conference.
- Thursday Folders – Notes, letters, graded papers, and pertinent information will be sent home every Thursday with the students in a folder. The parent will take out and go through the papers, sign the folder, and return it back to the teacher the next day.
- Progress reports from each teacher need to go out bi-weekly.
- Each teacher should send four positive personal notes, make four positive phone calls, or a combination of both per week rotating through their home room roster. All parents need to receive positive information regarding their child at least two times per nine weeks.
- All correspondence with parents should be documented. Keep a file on hand for each student in your homeroom.
- Do not discuss other students or teachers with parents. Be professionally mindful.
- Develop a positive relationship with parents. Try to gain their trust and let them know that you have their child’s best interest in mind at all times.
- Always avoid the use of jargon. Use language that will make the parents feel comfortable and at ease. Keep it simple!
Assignments of Certified Staff to Committees and Extracurricular Activities.
- All staff members will be required to serve on at least one committee over a two year period.
- Committee members will be made up of volunteers who are qualified to serve on that committee.
- If there are not enough volunteers, then I will assign individuals who are not currently on a committee, but are qualified to serve on that committee.
- Staff members are welcome to serve on as many committees as they are capable of handling.
- Committee assignments are extremely important. Duties while serving on a committee are to be taken seriously.
- Attendance of an assigned committee meeting or event is mandatory.
- If it is impossible for you to attend a committee meeting or event, then you need to inform the committee chair as soon as possible.
- All staff wishing to oversee an extracurricular (stipend) activity will need to apply for that position.
- Staff members with previous experience will be taken into consideration for that position first.
- If no one applies for a particular position, then I will appoint a staff member who is qualified to oversee that position. I will also take years with the school district into account.
- Extracurricular activities are a paid and contractual position. They are to be taken extremely seriously.
- Extracurricular activities will be assigned on a one year contract. That position may be retained for the next year if both parties are satisfied.
Principal to Teacher
- I will be sending out a daily e-mail to all staff each morning. The e-mail will highlight significant events, remind you of tasks, and offer suggestions for you to use in your classroom.
- All teachers need to check their email at least three times per day.
- We will have weekly staff meetings to go over relevant information and discuss events happening within our school. The meetings will be every Wednesday @ 3:15 p.m. We will have them in the cafeteria. These meetings are mandatory!
- Be sure to check your mail box daily. I will be placing grant information, classroom activities and ideas, and other information in your boxes as it becomes available.
- I am a hands-on principal. I think it is necessary for me to know what my teachers are doing in their classrooms. I will be visiting your classrooms several times per week.
- I would like to have one-on-one meetings with every teacher at least two times per nine weeks. I will use these meetings as an opportunity to see how you are doing, see if you have any needs, and to listen to ideas that you might have.
Teacher to Principal
- I have an open door policy. Feel free to come in my office and discuss issues with me whenever you need. I am always happy to answer questions, take suggestions, and listen to my teachers.
- You are always welcome to email me for anything. I will check my email several times each day and will respond to your email as quick as possible.
- If an issue or problem comes up after school. Please feel free to call me at home. I will do my best to address your needs as quickly and conveniently as possible.
Preparations/Materials/Communications Regarding Substitute Teachers
- If you know that you are going to be absent, please let the secretary know as soon as possible.
- If an emergency happens after school hours, please call the secretary or principal at home as soon as possible.
- You must fill out an absentee request form if you know you are going to be absent. If it is an emergency situation, then you must feel one out as soon as you return to school.
All teachers need to put a substitute packet together. The packet needs to be on file in the office. Be sure that you keep the packet up-to-date. The packet should include the following items:
- three days of updated emergency lesson plans
- enough copies of all work sheets for all students
- class schedule
- seating charts
- class roles
- attendance slips
- lunch count slips
- safety procedures and plans
- class rules
- student discipline policy
- contact teacher information
- miscellaneous information
- If you know that you are going to be absent and are capable of putting current lesson plans together, please turn them into the office to give to the substitute. Make sure that they are detailed, easy to follow, and state specifically what and when you want the substitute to do. Use the substitute lesson plan forms available in the office.
- If you are including worksheets in the lesson plans, try to copy them off for the substitute if it is possible. If it is not possible, make sure that you leave the correct number of copies that they will need for each sheet.
- If it is possible, write a personal note to the substitute making them feel welcome and giving them any information that you feel might help them.
Treatment of Students
- All students are to be treated fairly and with respect. If you expect them to respect you, then you have to respect them.
- You need to have an open door policy with all of your students. Let them know that they can trust you. Allow them the opportunity to come in, talk to you, ask you questions, and voice their concerns and opinions.
- It is our job to provide students with optimal opportunities to learn. We need to create an atmosphere that fosters learning and enhances a student’s ability to do such.
- All students regardless of race, color, or gender should be given equal opportunities and fair treatment by their teachers, administrators, and peers.
- All students should be encouraged to ask questions, and all teachers need to provide as an accurate of a response as possible.
- All teachers should have every student’s best interest in mind.