Building trust between home and school is critical in creating a positive school culture, increasing student achievement, and promoting family engagement. When parents trust teachers and administrators, they are more likely to support the school, get involved in their child’s education, and advocate for the school within the community. Trust is also important for the recruitment and retention of families and staff, as families will be more likely to choose and stay with a school they trust. So, how can schools build trust with families?
Consistent and Transparent Communication
Open communication between school and home is the cornerstone of building trust. Schools should regularly communicate with families about important school-related information such as academic progress, school events, and policies. Communication should be consistent, transparent, and timely. Schools should also provide a variety of communication channels to suit parents’ preferences, such as newsletters, emails, phone calls, family networks, and social media.
Honesty and Integrity
Schools should maintain honesty and integrity in all their interactions with families. When schools make commitments to parents, they should follow through and deliver results. Consistently delivering on promises can build trust and credibility. Avoid making false promises or sharing misleading or confusing information with families. When mistakes happen, schools should take ownership and work to rectify the situation. Being transparent with families and owning up to mistakes can build trust over time.
Engagement and Collaboration
Encourage family engagement and collaboration in school-related activities. When families feel included in their child’s education and have a voice in the school community, they are more likely to trust the school. This can be achieved by providing opportunities for parents to volunteer, attend school events, join leader ship teams, and participate in parent-teacher associations.
Listening to the concerns and ideas of families is crucial in building trust. Schools should actively seek out and listen to feedback from parents and use it to improve school policies and practices. Regular surveys and focus groups can be conducted to understand the needs and perspectives of families.
Empathy and Respect
Schools should treat families with empathy and respect. Teachers and administrators should acknowledge and understand the challenges that families face in their daily lives. Also, acknowledge the strengths and skills that each family brings to the table. When parents feel that the school cares about them and their children, they are more likely to trust the school.
Building trust between home and school is crucial for creating a positive school culture, increasing student achievement, promoting family engagement, and ultimately recruitment and retention. Schools can build trust by maintaining consistent and transparent communication, maintaining honesty and integrity, encouraging engagement and collaboration, active listening, treating families with empathy and respect, and delivering on promises. By following these strategies, schools can build strong and trusting relationships with families, which will have a positive impact on students’ educational experiences.