Communicating with parents can be difficult if you send out individual emails or rely on making phone calls to get your primary information across. The good news is that editable newsletters make it easy to send out updated, helpful information for your students and their families all year long. Here's what to put in your parent newsletter to make communication simple for you and your families.
When sending out newsletters to parents, I always include important reminders such as dates. These could be testing dates, conferences, school parties or field trips, days off, or even school fundraisers or special events. Putting all these vital dates into one convenient newsletter will help parents have everything in one place, making it easy to pop in their digital or paper planners.
What are your students learning? Include some of the objectives (in student-friendly language) and highlights of what the kids are learning and doing in class in your editable newsletter . For parents, knowing what their students are learning at home is so much better than asking the student, “What are you learning at school?” When parents can ask, “What are you learning about weather patterns?”, for example, they can have more active learning conversations with their students.
What Parents Can Do at Home
Even if you don't assign a lot of homework, parents will often ask what they can do to help their children at home with learning skills. Include special apps, questions, and review items in your newsletter for parents to try with their students at home. My number one tip that I always include? Read to your child! No matter what their age, children love being read to. Even reluctant readers can kickstart a love of reading when they read an engaging title with a parent.
Even though your newsletter is coming via email, it is a good place to share the best ways for parents to contact you. If you use social media for your class or have a preferred phone number (and times), add them to your newsletter.
If you are sending a weekly newsletter, this may just be a simple link, but your newsletter is an appropriate place to ask parents for items for the classroom if they are able to give. Some parents may ask how they can help. Give them the option by including your Amazon wish list or a few short items needed for upcoming class events or everyday use.
Although you may want to send individual thank yous for gifts or when parents go above and beyond, a newsletter is a great place to thank parents for support and help throughout the year.
Putting together a parent newsletter does not need to be another thing to add to your (long) to-do list. An editable newsletter can make it easy for you to send out weekly or monthly updates to parents. Things like dates, student learning information, homework and home learning resources, volunteer and item requests, and even thank yous can go out in your newsletter! Don't forget to include pictures of student work or students if they have releases signed. Enjoy your year, and get ready to communicate effectively with parents!
You can send a hard copy, send the editable version digitally, or send a digital version like I do here with a paid program.