- A new report from Blackboard and Project Tomorrow, “Trends in Digital Communications Priorities and Challenges: The Front Line Views of District Communications Officers,” incorporates information from 500,000 students, parents, educators and community members about their communications preferences.
- According to eSchool News, parents rank text messages, school portals like Infinite Campus and mobile apps as their top digital communication tools, while emails, in-person meetings and phone calls are their preferred traditional communication tools.
- While district officials seem to be aligned with parent preferences for traditional communication tools, they ranked district Facebook accounts as the top digital communication tool, which parents didn’t include in their top three.
Research has long showed how critical parent engagement is to student success. Many educators have to overcome barriers to make connections with parents. When there are cultural differences, parents may not recognize the role the U.S. education system makes for them. Language barriers can also make it difficult to develop school-community relationships. Districts should have protocols for offering translation and interpretation services and identifying parents who need them. Parents who do not speak English are guaranteed equal access to school information and services under the Civil Rights Act.
In Washington, DC Public Schools expects to make more than 12,000 home visits this year in a targeted effort to improve connections between the school and home. While labor-intensive, the effort has been tied to improved attendance, reading proficiency and parent engagement.