Creating a Family Guide to School

Communication, For Parents, For Schools / /

Share this post

Schools are complex spaces with thousands of moving parts. Different people interact with schools – parents, students, teachers, and community members – all needing different information at different times. That information can change quickly when staff, policies, and needs change. Sometimes, too many systems are in place and changing at the same time, so families can receive conflicting information. You can combat confusion or frustration by creating a “One Stop Shop” – a Family Guide – for storing and updating dependable school information.

Cate Reed, seasoned administrator, current Senior Vice President of Teach For America, and Possip Reporter, explains how to create a guide for families with information they need to know.

Getting Started on Your Family Guide

1. Anticipate the needs of families.

Think through the various things someone might need to know to navigate the school community. In addition, consider having a Possip Bonus Question one week asking people their top topics they would like to have more information about! In this article, Back to School: Anticipating Parent Concerns, we present the top questions and needs families typically share through Possip at the beginning of the year.

2. Don’t reinvent the wheel!  

Lots of schools have guides like this, either printed or online that you can reference for ideas. So, look around, find some samples you like, and use those to start. 

3. Get to work on your guide.

Don’t overthink this. You can provide a printed copy at the beginning of the year, but the best place to house this information is online. This way, families know where to access the most relevant and up-to-date information that you have.