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Two-Way Postcards

An easy channel for communication between parent and teacher

Often it is small acts that create change. We were successful at drawing in families to events like the Back to School Bash at the beginning of the school year and the Carnival at the end, but maintaining the momentum in one-on-one ways is also necessary. Our innovation introduced an easy postcard pathway for communication between parent and teacher.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

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Target group
January 2024
Take calculated risks; it’s ok if it doesn’t succeed (even though you hope it’s a smashing success). A good team of parents and school staff learn to build on whatever happens.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

We are learning that the seeds being planted lead to things coming to fruition. It can be a slow build but organic change takes time. Innovations have helped to spark and sustain parent and school engagement and we're learning that it's not just one-time events or one big thing that sustains our work. We also benefit from easy-to-do efforts that directly connect parents with teachers.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

We ordered postcards for all the teachers. Students took a postcard home for their parent to send to the teacher. And, the teacher could send a postcard home to the parent about the student. On either side, the quick note might be about something small; it was taking the time to communicate that really mattered. The essential thing was the ease of the act. Postcard-by-postcard a relationship could be created or deepened. In today's world where electronic communication is the norm, a handwritten note takes on special significance.

This idea was so easy and well-received that the principal sent a colorful postcard in the month of June to each teacher saying, hope you’re enjoying the summer. So often, it's small things that can connect us.

How has it been spreading?

The Superintendent is very involved and a key disseminator of what is being tried and of what works. This level of acknowledgement, support and advocacy keeps us all connected. It is also trusted people like the school's administrative assistant who can play an important role. She has the ear of the parent-teacher organization. Good work and new ideas are aided by support at every level, certainly including the community. In a small place like ours, word of mouth is a force in its own right.

The Parents as Allies team thoughtfully delivered two big-time innovations to begin and end the school year and all the above-named advocates have helped. It all supports calculated risk-taking and the spread of good ideas.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

The team approach is the secret. The principal has learned to step back and trust that the others will step up and take the lead when needed. Navigating the different personalities and leadership styles among the team help this to happen. It all comes together when everyone understands how parent engagement can correlate with student academic success. That's the grease in the wheels.

Spread of the innovation

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