We are proud to share this guest post about parent communication and school operations by Nick Stamboulis, Head of Sales at Cariina, a software platform helping administrators manage communication and operations around transportation, attendance, activities, events and more.
When it comes to choosing a school for your child, good parent communication and operations are essential. Picking the right school for your child can be time consuming, stressful and overwhelming. A wrong choice can have impacts on the child’s development and the right choice can assure they’re set up in an environment to be able to succeed at a very high level. Parents need to feel confident that their children are receiving a quality education and that their concerns are being addressed in a timely manner.
Signs that a School Has Good Communications and Operations
Here are ten key factors to consider when evaluating a school’s communication and operations.
1. Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
A school with an active and engaged parent group (PTA, PTO, PSO, PVC, etc.) is a good sign that parents are involved in the school’s decision-making process. The PTA should meet regularly, and there should be a school liaison who is readily accessible to parents. This liaison should be able to answer questions and provide information about the school’s policies and procedures.
2. Timely Responses
When parents call the school, they should expect a timely response. This means that someone should pick up the phone or return their call within a reasonable timeframe. A school that values parent communication will have staff who prioritize answering parent inquiries and concerns.
3. Regular Communication with Teachers
Parents should be able to communicate regularly with their child’s teachers. The school should have processes in place to provide evaluations and feedback about the child’s progress. The teacher should work with the parent to come up with mutual action plans to address any concerns. This ensures that parents are informed about their child’s education and can work with the school to address any issues that arise.
4. Weekly Parent Newsletters
A school that values parent communication will have a weekly newsletter that highlights the events and activities happening at the school. This newsletter should provide information about upcoming events, important deadlines, and any other news that parents need to know. It is a way to keep parents informed and engaged in their child’s education.
5. Parent Portal
A good school will have a parent communication portal that allows parents to communicate with teachers and access their child’s grades and progress reports. This portal should be user-friendly and easily accessible. Some schools use apps like PowerSchool, Dean’s List, or others.
6. Social Media Presence
A school that is active on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok can be a good sign that they value parent engagement. Social media can be a great way to communicate with parents and keep them informed about the school’s activities and events.
7. Parent Communication App
Some schools use parent communication apps to facilitate communication between parents and teachers. These apps can be a convenient way for parents to communicate with teachers and stay informed about their child’s education. A good school will consistently use this app and ensure that all parents have access to it. Some examples to look out for are Cariina, School Messenger and ParentSquare.
8. Social Emotional Learning
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing social and emotional skills to support positive relationships, responsible decision-making, and overall well-being. A school that values SEL will prioritize the social and emotional development of their students. This can include programs and initiatives that support student mental health and well-being.
9. Onsite Tours
Parents should take the opportunity to visit the school and see how their child reacts to the environment. An onsite tour can help parents get a sense of the school’s culture, facilities, and resources. It is an opportunity to meet with staff, ask questions, and get a sense of the school’s values and priorities.
10. Mission Alignment
The school’s mission should align with the outcomes that parents are looking to achieve with their child. This can include STEM education, trades, or college preparation. Parents should consider what is best for their child and ensure that the school’s mission and values align with their goals.
In conclusion, a school’s communication and operations can play a significant role in a child’s education. When evaluating a school, parents should consider factors such as parent-teacher communication, timely responses, regular communication with teachers, weekly newsletters, parent communication portals, social media presence, parent communication apps, social-emotional learning, onsite
Parents’ Involvement in Their Children’s Education
For those who want to take things a step further, here are some extra tips on some ways parents can get involved in their child’s education.
- Prioritize learning in your home by establishing routines and schedules that allow children to complete homework, read independently, get enough sleep, and have opportunities to seek help from you. Discuss with them what’s happening in school.
- Read to and with your children, even if it’s only for 10–20 minutes per day. Encourage your children to read more on their own or together with the family.
- Ask your child’s teachers how they prefer to communicate. Many teachers are comfortable with text messages or phone calls, and all teachers want parents to stay updated, particularly if issues arise.
- Attend school events, including parent-teacher conferences, back-to-school nights, and others, even if your child is not involved in extracurricular activities.
- Use your commute to connect with your children. Ask them to read to you while you drive and engage them in conversations about school.
- Have meals together and take the opportunity to find out more about what’s happening in school.
- Prioritize communication with your child’s teachers, especially if demanding work schedules, cultural or language barriers are an issue. Find out what resources are available to help get parents involved.
Charter Moms Chats
Nick Stamboulis is the Head of Sales for Cariina, a suite of integrated software solutions that helps school administrators to manage their internal operations. Nick Stamboulis is a growth leader who has helped build out our sales organization. Since coming on board about a year and a half ago, Nick has worked with nearly 100 schools across 14 states. He continues to be essential to Cariina’s growth as a charter school advocate by building relationships and developing innovative strategies to drive growth. Nick is an operations expert who lives and breathes efficiency, always looking for ways to streamline processes and optimize results. When he’s not busy helping schools, Nick can often be found on the disc golf course or enjoying sushi with his girlfriend.
Read More About Parent Communication
- “From Advocacy to Action: Parent Partnerships Boost School Safety,” San Antonio Charter Moms, March 27, 2023
- “Team Up for Success: Tools and Resources for Building Stronger Parent Teacher Relationships,” San Antonio Charter Moms, October 7, 2021
- “Empowering Parents Through Communication,” Justin Johnston, San Antonio Charter Moms, August 2, 2021
- “Step-by-Step Instructions for STAAR Report Cards and Resources,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, June 29, 2021
- “Improve Your Children’s Learning With Insights From STAAR Test Scores,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, May 26, 2021
- “Exploring the Paths to Success in High School and Beyond,” Melissa Rayworth, San Antonio Charter Moms, April 8, 2021
- “Parents are Part of the Teacher Hiring Process at Compass Rose Academy,” San Antonio Charter Moms, February 15, 2019