and Year-End Letters to Parents and Students
Chrispeels, Boruta, and Daugherty (1988) describe introductory and end-of-year
letters that teachers can send to parents and students:
- Introductory Letters to Parents: "Introductory letters
from teachers to parents sent before the first day of school or at the
beginning of the term greatly benefit home-school relations. They start
parents off with the image of a teacher who is genuinely interested in
the lives of students and families. These letters make it easier for parents
to talk to teachers as someone they have been introduced to and know something
An introductory letter needs to emphasize the parents' importance to
the student's educational program. It should be positive, friendly, and
express the teacher's hope to help the student. An introductory letter
might contain the following:
- Introduction of the teacher.
- Course expectations and goals.
- Description of classroom procedures.
- Reading lists and projects.
- Description of other upcoming parent-teacher activities.
- Teacher's telephone number at school and office hours.
Another benefit of sending an introductory letter is that it provides
a vehicle for preparing parents to expect more communication throughout
the year. The format, color, or distinguishing logo that will be used on
notes and/or newsletters all year can be used and explained. This is also
the ideal time to initiate two-way communication. Letters can include a
tear-off portion to be returned to the teacher with information on when
parents are available for contact, conferences, or to help in the classroom.
The teacher may also want to ask parents to answer a few questions about
If the letter is to be mailed to parents, schools will need to support
teachers in this effort by duplicating materials and helping with mailing.
In secondary schools with a homeroom system, homeroom teachers could take
on the responsibility of contacting their 30 students and introducing themselves
as the primary contact person for the parent." (p. 123)
- Introductory Letters to Students: "Some teachers send an
introductory letter to students to help establish positive feelings in
regard to a new teacher and the upcoming school experience. This gives
the student the feeling that the teacher cares about him or her as an individual.
Letters to students can also positively affect parents' feelings toward
the teacher and school. Teachers may want to ask students and parents to
complete some simple questions about themselves which help the teacher
to become better acquainted with the student." (p. 124)
- End-of-the-Year Thank You Letters: "Thank you letters mailed
to the homes of all students at the end of the school year can be another
effective means of communication. Teachers can express their appreciation
for parent and student contributions to the class during the school year.
They can offer assistance and resources for parents during the vacation
period." (p. 124)
Courtesy of the San Diego County
Office of Education.
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