While the school year may be on a break during the summer, there are still various ways schools can engage with parents and maintain a connection.
Here are some ideas to build the outcomes needed for the upcoming school year:
1. Summer newsletters or emails: Send out regular newsletters or emails to parents during the summer months. Provide updates on school news, upcoming events, and important information for the next academic year. Include tips for summer learning activities, book recommendations, or resources that parents can use to support their child's continued education during the break.
2. Parent workshops or webinars: Organize virtual workshops or webinars on topics of interest to parents during the summer. Offer sessions on summer learning strategies, educational apps and resources, maintaining a routine, or supporting social and emotional development during the break. These sessions can provide valuable information and foster engagement between parents and the school community.
3. Summer reading programs: Launch a summer reading program and encourage parents to participate with their children. Provide reading lists, suggested book themes, or reading challenges. Organize virtual book clubs or discussion forums where parents can share their experiences and recommendations. Consider offering incentives or recognition for participation and achievements.
4. Virtual parent engagement events: Host virtual events that allow parents to connect with each other and with school staff. These could include virtual coffee chats, Q&A sessions with administrators or teachers, or themed discussions around parenting and education. Such events provide an opportunity for parents to ask questions, share experiences, and build relationships with other parents and school personnel.
5. Social media engagement: Leverage social media platforms to engage with parents during the summer. Share educational resources, tips, and summer learning ideas through school social media accounts. Encourage parents to share their experiences, post photos of summer learning activities, or ask questions. Maintain an active presence, respond to comments, and foster conversations to keep parents connected with the school community.
6. Online parent resources: Create a dedicated section on the school's website or a separate online platform where parents can access summer resources, educational materials, and helpful links. Include recommendations for summer camps, local community activities, or online learning platforms. Provide information on summer programs offered by the school or external organizations that parents may find beneficial.
7. Surveys and feedback: Seek parent input and feedback through surveys or questionnaires during the summer. Ask for their opinions on school initiatives, future events, or areas of improvement. This demonstrates that their input is valued and helps shape the school's planning for the upcoming year.
8. Parent volunteering opportunities: Offer parent volunteering opportunities during the summer, such as assisting with summer school programs, organizing community events, or supporting school projects. Involve parents in planning and executing summer activities that benefit the school and the wider community.
Remember to be mindful of the different schedules and availability of parents during the summer. Provide flexible options for engagement and ensure that activities are accessible to all parents, whether they are working, on vacation, or have other commitments. By maintaining engagement during the summer months, schools can foster a strong partnership with parents and sustain a sense of community throughout the year.