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School-family relationship: What to say, when and how?

At the start of the school year, it is important to take the time to lay the foundations for the parent-teacher relationship so that it remains solid throughout the coming months. The quality of communications and information shared between school and family can make a difference to the well-being and success of students.

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The relationship between parents and school staff is unique. The quality of communications and information shared between school and family can make a difference to the well-being and success of students. It helps to enhance the role of each person and build a relationship of trust. At the start of the school year, it is important to take the time to lay the foundations for this relationship so that it remains solid throughout the coming months.

What to communicate?

Since the goal of parents and school staff is to act together on the well-being and success of students, themes on which it is necessary to share information become essential. 

Here are a few :

What does the child need to be well and available to learn?
Stress and anxiety
Interpersonal relationships
Ability to express oneself
Success (school path)
What does the child need to be successful?
Organization of his work
Realization of his work plan and studies
Understanding of a subject
Ability to feel capable of succeeding


As a teacher, you can structure the collection to get the relevant information you need. This could even be done at different times of the year, planned in advance and depending on the context, to create the best possible learning conditions for your students.

Communications can also be spontaneous, depending on real-life situations that could have an impact on a student's success or well-being. Likewise, parents should not hesitate to communicate special situations with you. To do this, they must feel an openness on your part from the start of the school year. 

On both sides, it is important to take the time to validate with the young person what he is going through. A constructive dialogue with him, whether at school or at home, can generally help define the actions to be put in place so that he is once again well and available to learn. 

The article The school-family relationship, a condition for success for distance learning, published in the École branchée magazine on the family, allows us to go further. Also, a workshop CréaCamp Discovery will take place on September 16 on this subject.

How to facilitate communication?

How to structure the collection of information? It can be as simple as copying the following questionnaires and adapting them to your context.

These questionnaires were created by Myra Auvergnat-Ringuette, 4th year teacher at Externat St-Jean-Berchmans who agreed to share them with you. They can be completed at different times during the school year in order to follow the evolution of the general feeling of the pupils and their parents.

Developing a trusting school-family relationship necessarily involves communication and the establishment of continuous and concerted actions. You should never hesitate to communicate on both sides, keeping in mind that each communication must aim at the well-being and success of young people above all. 

Tools to place the student at the heart of the school-family relationship

Students are the main actors in their success, they can document their progress and their challenges themselves to share with their teachers and parents. It will be even simpler and more efficient to support them based on their own observations. 

At the start of the year, you may ask the students or parents to complete a form to help you get to know the students better. Take this opportunity to create a tool at the service of the school-family relationship by putting the student at the center with a personal success plan *. This tool aims, among other things, to allow students to situate themselves in relation to themselves and to orient effectively and clearly the school-family exchanges.

  • Personal success plan : To be completed at the beginning of the year by the pupils to allow him to situate his success in relation to himself while facilitating the necessary school-family support.

To act continuously, this plan can be combined with the writing of a weekly learning report by the students. The following model is inspired by the coaching report used by the students of Julie Chandonnet, grade 6 teacher.

Teaming up between school and family to create the best possible learning conditions means investing directly in the well-being and success of young people and this begins at the start of the school year. 

Download the special issue of École branchée magazine for parents: Well-being, a lever for learning ... even at a distance.

* As part of Rendezvous for educational success, the Fédération des committees de parents du Québec recommended creating an individualized success plan for each student. 

About the Author

Stéphanie Dionne
Stephanie Dionnehttp://ecolebranchee.com/famille
Stéphanie Dionne est directrice du développement et des partenariats, animatrice et conférencière. Elle contribue au rayonnement des acteurs du milieu de l'Éducation et de son écosystème. De plus, elle accompagne les parents, les enseignants et les intervenants dans une mentalité de coéducation afin de permettre aux jeunes de devenir des citoyens épanouis à l'ère du numérique.

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