Maintaining the School-Family Relationship

Beyond the process of creating and implementing the IEP, there are some simple practices that can help foster collaboration between the school team and the family, which in turn increases the impact of the actions taken in the classroom. 

For effective communication on a continuous basis during the school year, using a two-way communication channel in a structured manner can make it easier to collect the necessary and relevant information in order to better support students with a learning disability. In this way, it is possible to obtain a snapshot of the class and of each student regarding their well-being and learning experience, at the desired frequency (every week, at the end of each term or every month).

The following questionnaires were designed by Ms. Myra Auvergnat-Ringuette, a primary school teacher. Students can answer the questions directly or with the help of their parents.

Very often, the goal of meetings or communication with parents is to identify the child’s disruptive behaviours or poor performance. Instead of only communicating bad news to parents, focus your communications on the child’s successes, achievements, and strengths. Your conversations will become empowering in addition to being a source of pride for the students and their parents. Two different tools are available to ensure a student-centred learning experience and to cultivate independent learning. The aim of the Individual Success Plan and the Weekly Learning Summary is to help students understand how they learn by fostering a growth mindset in them and developing their emotional intelligence.

These two templates can be adapted as necessary to the needs of students with LDs. As alternatives to writing, you can use video or audio recordings, or a visual design tool such as Canva. All of these can be accommodated in a space that parents can access, such as a digital portfolio or a digital working environment like Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams.

Use these tools as a guide for your school-family communications and to support each of your students based on who they are, how they see themselves and what they wish to become. Each learning step will become a source of pride that will develop self-esteem in students with LDs, who will be the ones to identify the challenges that they want to tackle. The interventions to be prioritized and implemented at school or at home will target the child’s needs more effectively. School-family communications will thus become positive experiences for the school team, the students, and their parents.

When schools and families develop effective partnerships, the benefit for students with LDs is reflected in improved educational outcomes. Educators are encouraged to consult with their respective professional associations for additional information and resources. Strong school-family relationships have positive impacts on the well-being and success of all youth!