Success Story: Eastwood Elementary
Communicating at Eastwood Elementary
Eastwood Elementary School has long been considered one of the more successful schools in Decatur, Alabama, but even the best schools need to reevaluate old habits and look for new ways to meet today’s challenges.
While school leaders had always known that strong communication is essential in developing a healthy home-school connection, changing technology coupled with a decrease in stay-at-home moms presented new challenges in communicating effectively.
An action team with parent representatives from all grade levels identified three strategies to improve communication.
First, after reviewing what several other schools did to facilitate teacher-parent communication, the action team selected an academic planner, approved by the principal, to become the schoolwide method for communicating homework, tests, and other classroom activities.
At the beginning of the school year, the principal also gave all families the option of being part of the school’s e-mail system. While the school still uses more traditional means of communication, the expanded use of e-mail allows communication between home and school to occur quickly and easily.
Lastly, Eastwood PTA created a family resource center to provide a central location for sharing PTA materials, viewing academic planners, and disseminating information about community programs and resources.
The academic planner has helped parents become true partners with teachers in supporting student learning and has the added benefit of helping prepare students and parents for the transition to middle school, where a similar planner is used. The more frequent use of e-mail has increased communication between parents and teachers, and the parent resource center has made parents feel more welcome and more connected to the school and their community.