Writing a back to school parent letter is an important task. It helps parents know what to expect and tells them the information they need! Here is what to include.
Why Write a Back to School Parent Letter
This is one of families’ first opportunities to get to know you and your classroom. It is also an important place to communicate things like classroom rules and policies. Often, there will actually be a packet of information with a back to school letter on top. It is one of the first steps to forming relationships with families!
What to Include
• Introduction– Tell parents who you are, about your education, how long you have been teaching, and what you like to do in your free time. You can also include a little bit about your teaching philosophy if you have space. Also, make sure to introduce any other teachers or assistants who will be working in the classroom. Small headshot pictures are a nice touch!
• Policies– A lot of policies (for instance, illness policies) are set by the school, but still may be communicated in the welcome packet. Other policies may be classroom and age-specific, for instance the drop-off and pick-up routine that parents should follow. If this is your first time writing a welcome letter, ask a colleague to see theirs to make sure you are covering all the bases!
• List of What Children Need– This includes the list of school supplies, which often will have been mailed to families over the summer. For some classrooms, students may also need to have things like extra clothing, nap sheets, water bottles, or snacks. Kids may need particular books for class later in the year. Always be sure to clarify what options are available for families facing financial difficulty.
• Schedules– This is both the daily schedule for your class and the yearly schedule for the school.
• Overview of the Year– In addition to schedules, you want to give families an idea of what their kids will be learning. You can discuss the curriculum you use if it is relevant, and you can also just give an overview of topics you’ll cover.
• Communication Methods– Different families need to hear information in different ways! It’s good to have a lot of plans in place for communicating with families. This can be everything from newsletters to emails to phone calls to bulletin boards to class websites. Give an overview of the different ways you communicate and let families know how they can get in touch with you.