Schoolwide communication toolkit

Ensuring that everyone in a school can partner in student success requires overcoming structural barriers to communication between the families who share a school, and the school!

With parents, teachers, staff, and administrators at the K-8 Healey School in Somerville, we've been working toward a toolkit of tools and strategies for schoolwide communication that reaches all families across lines of language, income, background, and tech access/training.

In particular, we've been working on improving the "infrastructure" for low-cost translation and interpretation in a multilingual school. We've been developing a Parent connector network, where bilingual parents use phones, Google forms, and a hotline we made, to help get information to and input from immigrant and low-income families. A multilingual coffee hour is part of the infrastructure too!

Other tools include a wiki for school reform notes, and our partners in the PTA are beginning to work on training parents on email and getting everyone on a common listserv (one program within the school has long used a listserv successfully).

We began this work by holding Reading Nights and parent dialogues at the Healey in 2009-10.

We've decided to describe our full set of schoolwide communication efforts on the Parent Connector Network page, since that was the main outcome of our 2009-11 efforts. In that Network, all the work we had been doing for two years came together!