Tips & Tools

Tips and Tools to use in classrooms, schools and districts.

Welcoming Environment

  • Entrance way visible; signs from parking lot lead person to door or gathering place for activity
  • Parking spaces are reserved for parents/family members
  • Welcome signs are in multiple languages
  • Receptionist greets people with voice and gestures (body language)

Resource Rooms

  • A parent or family room is available for informal meetings, borrowing books or videos/DVDs to support student development and learning, access family support services and resources.
  • Suggestions box or other means of soliciting family, community member and staff input about effective ways to work together, student success and other issues
  • Observation areas are available for parents to observe classroom experiences without disrupting the class. Opportunities to observe lessons with a debrief time are made available

Ways to help parents support student learning

  • Explain standards and expectations; describe the curriculum.
  • Show parents the materials used in the classroom, particularly if text books are kept at school.
  • Give examples of different levels of work and highlight the work that meets the expectations for the assignment. Describe the reasons it does and does not.
  • Give parents questions that they can ask children as prompts when completing homework or reading a book.
  • Talk with parents about their child’s interests, and discuss ways to extend classroom learning using those interests.
  • Encourage communication among the three of you: teacher, student and parent through journals, face to face meetings and email communications.


Pennsylvania Department of Education's Division of Federal Programs

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