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August 25, 2021 Meeting Minutes - Better Communication in the New School Year

Updated: Sep 29

PALS Meeting Minutes

August 25, 2021 9:30 a.m.

Virtual Meeting using Zoom


Open Forum

Open Forum is an opportunity for participants to come together and discuss a variety of topics, offer resources, and ask questions related to special education.


Going Back to School

Back to school is always filled with jitters and cheers. We talked about class schedules needing tweaking, meetings with school staff, kids refusing to go to school, what to do when you think your kid has outgrown their IEP. There was one thing all of these topics had in common; the need for good communication between school and home. We often talk about the need for better communication. "Better" meaning, more transparent, more frequent, more trustworthy, less anxiety producing. We have all had our complaints. Maybe taking a fresh look at some resources about communication from both sides of the table will help us get what we need. Better communication.


The ABCs of Communicating With Your Child's School - at first glance this looks like a cute way to present 26 ideas about school and home communication. With starter words like Ask, Build, Clarify, Dig, E-mail, Question, Spend, Understand, and Voice, I took another look at who compiled this list. Putnam City (Oklahoma) Schools sourced it from National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). I think we've all experienced W. This took me down the NSPRA wormhole where I found even more articles about school and home communication, like this decade old piece on a survey from Edutopia by way of PenSPRA (The Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association), a NSPRA Chapter. Here's another one from Edutopia that's just a few weeks old focused on starting the school year off right with better communication strategies. Of course, this one also is from the perspective of educators.


Continuing with educator side of things, Walden University's Education Department put out trimmed down version for their student teachers offering 9 Ways To Improve Parent-Teacher Communication.


Classcraft offers more recommendations for improving home and school communication for educators. Here's an excerpt:

It’s the student who benefits the most from communication between home and school, resulting in numerous positive advantages:

  • Improved academic achievement.

  • A more positive attitude toward learning.

  • A feeling of empowerment and confidence.

  • Enhanced relationships with parents, peers, and teachers.

  • Regular class attendance.

These ideas could be used to a family's advantage when communicating with the school.


Switching it up to the perspective of parents, a few years ago the National PTA offered an article offering 3 Ways to Improve Communication with Your Child's Teacher. This article offered a few of the same ideas as the previous articles like, asking questions, speaking up, and keeping it concise.


Within an article about Letter Writing, the Center for Parent Information & Resources offers a variety of letters that could be helpful in developing your own ideas about things you would like to talk to your child's teacher or administer about. Topics include, discussing a problem, requesting an evaluation, placement, or resolving a conflict.

Next Meeting: September 27, 2021 9:30 a.m. Virtual Meeting using Zoom. Currently scheduled as Open Forum.

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SPECIAL NOTE

All meetings will be held virtually until further notice.

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