Involving Parents in the School: Tips for School Councils

Get the Word Out

Communication is essential to building parent involvement. What parents know and perceive about the school depends on what they see, hear and read. These tips will help you use a variety of communications tools to keep parents informed and engaged in the life of the school.

Tip #18: The Bulletin Board

Bulletin boards are often placed in highly visible locations within the school. They provide a prime opportunity for announcing school events and keeping parents abreast of important dates. Bulletin boards are most effective when they are well-maintained and up to date. Often, a single member of School Council can volunteer to ensure that bulletin board items are refreshed regularly. Items might include:

  • a meeting schedule for the year;
  • notices of upcoming meetings including an agenda;
  • minutes of past meetings;
  • information about how to contact School Council members; or
  • tips or frequently asked questions for parents on a variety of topics.

Tip #19: The School Newsletter and Website

Newsletters and school website postings can be used to send information home about important School Council decisions, and to keep parents informed about School Council meetings and activities. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Consider creating a School Council newsletter which is sent home on a periodic basis, such as fall, winter and spring.
  • Request that School Council activities and announcements are included on a regular basis in the school newsletter.
  • Consider requesting that an article by a Council member be included in each issue of the school newsletter to maintain consistent visibility.
  • Similarly, make the newsletter and other information about School Council available on the school website, and update that information regularly.

Tip #20: The School Council Display

You can enhance the visibility of School Council considerably by creating a special School Council display in a prominent, high-traffic public area of the school. Similarly, consider mounting a School Council display at school events and information nights, and having a School Council member on hand to answer questions. You might like to include a sign-up sheet in your display that will enable parents to volunteer for school activities, and provide contact information.

Tip #21: The Parent Contact List

Take every available opportunity to collect parent contact information for use in sending information updates and reminders, keeping in mind appropriate Freedom of Information protocols (ask your school principal for information). Contact information may include telephone, email and mailing address.

Tip #22: Direct Contact Program

One to three times per year, consider using your contact list to reach parents directly, for example email or mail. This will help ensure that all parents consistently and reliably receive information, understand the role and activities of School Council, and are provided ongoing opportunities to become involved.

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