8 Communication Problems between Schools and Families
1. Families are Busy
Families are busy with work (some with multiple jobs), tasks, errands, and chores, all on top of juggling their child’s schedule with daily life. Families need something to keep them connected and engaged on-the-go from wherever they are.
2. Families want to be engaged
Families want the access and information to know what’s going on in the classroom and in their child’s academic life on a day-to-day basis. There can be limited views into the classroom, and getting that information from their child can be like pulling teeth for some families. Most families have had this or a similar conversation:
- Family member: “What did you do in school today?”
- Child: “Nothing.”
- Family member: “Do you have anything you need to study for?”
- Child: “No.”
3. Email Inboxes are Cluttered
It can feel impossible for families to go through everything in their email inboxes and be able to act or respond in a timely manner. A cluttered inbox means having to sift through multiple emails and often missing important information. Families need something to separate these important messages from the noise of their constantly roaring inboxes.
4. Paperwork & Newsletters Disappear
Paperwork and newsletters somehow always seem to disappear. Let’s face it, how often do we hear information was sent home but never received? Somewhere between school and home, those papers disappear into that mysterious black hole of lost papers.
5. Checking Multiple Websites & Calendars
It’s hard for families to consistently check all of the different websites and calendars for their child’s teacher, school and district. It’s unreasonable to expect that all families will remember to check a particular website for the information they need.
6. Social Media Lacks Consistency & Privacy
Important updates shared through social media are often lost amid the sea of posts and algorithms that determine which status updates and ads a user sees. Social media also lacks the necessary security and privacy regulations that schools must adhere to, especially when sharing student content and information.
7. Language Barriers
If English is not a family’s primary language and all of the emails, text messages, paperwork, and newsletters are not being translated, it can make it hard for families to truly connect with and understand what their child is learning.
8. App Overload
Families simply want to know what and how their child is doing in school, and they rightfully become frustrated and overwhelmed when they have to juggle too many places to find that out. If one teacher uses a website, another uses an app, the PTA uses Facebook, and the administration is using other sites and tools, it can be harder than ever for families to keep up – especially when you consider families who have multiple children across multiple grades or schools, who then must change and re-register for these “solutions” year after year.
By Kellen Wilson