Advice for K-12 Administrators
Educators generally agree that parental involvement is great for students. When parents and schools work together, students have a greater opportunity to excel in both their home and school lives. However, working with parents isn’t always so simple.
The key is for schools to build trust with parents. After all, parents want what’s best for their children. But how do you build that trust? With clear parent communication lines for your entire K-12 team. Although parents aren’t customers in the traditional sense, treating them as such can help build trust and lead to better outcomes for everyone.
Building Trust is Very Important for Meeting Strategic Goals
Businesses build trust by engaging with their communities and listening to customers. Your school can take a page from this book by proactively reaching out to parents and listening to their concerns. Each time someone from the board, administration, faculty or staff engages with a parent, customer service should be top of mind.
Customer service shows parents that you and the school care about their children. Each time school staff members listen, engage, and try to solve an issue, parents learn that you have their best interests at heart. After a while, they know they can trust you with the most important parts of their lives: their children.
Once trust is established between the school and parents, everyone can work together to meet strategic goals. For example, parents can better support academic goals at home when they feel like they are welcome into the conversation around goals and challenges with their child’s teachers. They may also better support their child’s attendance when they understand what can be missed in a single day. When parents trust you to make them part of the team, everyone benefits.
How Technology Enables School Leaders to Provide Better Service
Technology can play a vital role in providing excellent customer service and earning the trust of parents. A recent poll found that a stunning 94 percent of parents support teachers using data to help students succeed. The same poll found that 9 in 10 parents want information not only on their child’s grades, but also on their social and emotional development.
Parents want to see the hard numbers and facts that help the school support the children. SchoolStatus technology can help meet this need by providing individualized data for each learner’s attendance, grades, and behavioral progress. These numbers provide the service that parents want, help make conferences more productive, and keep everyone on the same page.
The student data technology in SchoolStatus also provides improved communications between parents and schools. With automatic recording, teachers and administrators can access calls at any point and use them as references. Furthermore, SchoolStatus helps teachers keep track of their communications with automated logs.
Practical Recommendations for Setting and Surpassing Parent Service Standards
If you want to provide service that is above and beyond what’s expected, information can help. When you make data-informed decisions, parents can understand your reasoning and trust you even more. Below are a few ways you can integrate data and customer service into your interactions with parents:
- Bring the most recent data into each parent-teacher conference. Show parents the trends you have seen and work together to help the students.
- Listen to parents when they express concerns and let them know what you will do to address those concerns.
- Walk parents through the decision-making process. Sometimes understanding the “why” behind a decision can help parents understand what happened.
- Get them on the phone. Person-to-person conversations help parents know that the school cares about their children.
- Make sure your teachers stay trained. Track professional development to ensure your faculty and staff use best practices.
- Leave he-said-she-said situations in the past. With automatically recorded conversations, administrators can know exactly what happened between parents and teachers.
If you want to provide excellent customer service and build trust among your community, contact SchoolStatus today. Our technology can give you the data and tools you need to build better relationships with parents.