Top 7 Successful Ways To Make Students and Families Feel Welcome This School Year
Do these 7 simple things to help make students and families feel welcome this school year! Let them know you are excited to be working together with them this year and get the year off to a great start!
- Make a welcome phone call
- Send a welcome letter to the student
- Send a follow-up letter to families
- Share your contact information
- Send the “I am in a New Grade Now” social skills story and note
- Send back-to-school confetti
- First day of school activity pages
Make Students and Families Feel Welcome for a Better Year
1. MAKE A WELCOME PHONE CALL
Set a positive tone for the school year with families by taking a few moments to make a welcome phone call to families.
That welcome call lets your families know that you are interested in building a relationship not only with their child but with them as well. Making these positive connections early on in the school year makes future conversations about more challenging subjects and topics go much more smoothly because you have already built a relationship of trust with the family.
Do this a week or so before school begins, and keep it brief and to the point! Remember to cover:
- your interest in working together as partners this year
- the best time and way to contact them
- provide them with information about the best time and way to contact you
- your desire to keep the lines of communication open
- find out what they would like you to know about their child. interests? fears? strengths? Concerns?
Use this interest survey to help you gather important information about your students. This form will help you begin to understand each student’s interests, strengths, and struggles from day one. Knowing your students in this way helps build strong and lasting connections and sets your students up for success!
PRO TIP: Continue to add things to each child’s page as you get to know your students. Keep them all together in a binder with pocket dividers, so that each student has their own section. This allows you to add other important pages as the year goes on (consent forms, emergency contact information, conference notes, etc.)
After you’ve made all of your calls, spend some time creating a special back-to-school packet to mail to each student and family. Include the following inside:
2. WELCOME LETTER TO STUDENTS
Nothing makes students feel more special than to get mail from their new teacher! If you think you are anxious about the new year, imagine how they are feeling…
A welcome letter is a fantastic way to let them know you are excited to be meeting them soon! Send the letters out the week before school starts to let your students know you are thinking about them.
EXTRA FUN TIP: Add your voice to your student welcome letters. Record your voice using the Cloud QR app. The app then generates a QR code for you to download and paste onto your letter. Kids feel even more at ease about meeting their new teacher when they’ve already heard your voice.
3. FOLLOW-UP LETTER TO FAMILIES
Add a follow-up letter to the family in your back-to-school packet as well!
This is a great way to reintroduce yourself, reshare your contact information, and reinforce your strong belief that children do their best learning when families and teachers are partners.
Get your own editable copy of the follow-up welcome letter for families for FREE!
4. YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION
Kindergarten is often one of the first times kids are away from their parents for such a long day. Share your contact information with parents before the school year starts to ease everyone’s nerves!
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Keep LOTS of extras on hand! Send them home again as needed so that families never have a reason to say they didn’t have my contact information
5. “I AM IN A NEW GRADE NOW” SOCIAL SKILLS STORY AND NOTE
This social skills story about going back to school helps students understand why they are feeling mixed emotions and some positive things they can focus on to feel more excited about the new year!
In this book, students learn about:
- what it means to have mixed emotions
- some of the things that may be causing back-to-school anxiety
- positive things about going back to school to focus on
An editable back-to-school welcome note from the teacher is included with the book as well!
Watch the video below to hear more about how I use the I’m In A New Grade Now Social Skills Story!
6. BACK-TO-SCHOOL CONFETTI
For a fun final touch, add confetti to each student’s back-to-school packet!
Buy premade confetti at your local party store or use shredded paper. Kids love confetti no matter what kind it is!
Attach this cute poem and instruct kids to place the confetti next to their beds the night before the first day of school. It is such a fun way for us all to begin bonding together as a community from the very beginning!
7. FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL ACTIVITY PAGES
As students are entering the classroom on the first day their emotions are running high. Help provide a sense of normalcy by having a coloring sheet from the welcome pack out at their seat for them to work on while everyone is settling in and you’re collecting supplies, notes, etc.
Also, include some getting-to-know-you activities to do together sometime during the day to immediately begin to build a sense of community in the classroom.
Your students are so lucky to have you! Leave a comment below and share your favorite back-to-school rituals and routines for families.
Don’t forget to pin this post to refer to it later!
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Free Positive Notes Home
The perfect way to build a strong working relationship with the families of your stude nts!
Thank you for being here! I love sharing ideas with other teachers! If you are looking to enhance your teaching and build a positive classroom community, you have come to the right place!