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What to Include in End-of-Year Communications to Parents

With May just around the corner, your school may be preparing for end-of-year events and activities. Whether you are wishing your students farewell and best wishes, or you would like to provide them and their families with more information about how to tackle the summer break and what to expect in the coming year, you may be considering sending home a parent letter. Here are some ideas to make your parent letters beneficial, informative, and unique.

• Summarize a few of the year’s highlights and then let them know what to expect about the next school year. You can give a little information about the new teacher(s) the child will have, the new skills they will learn and subjects they will take, field trips or events they may be participating in, etc. 
• If the student is changing buildings or moving from grade school to middle or high school, provide a summary with your best tips for the big transition. In your experience, how can parents help their student to prepare for this change?
• Encourage the parents to help their student succeed over the summer in preparation for all of these new things they’ll be learning. Tailor your suggestions to the grade the student will be entering. Young students, for example, may wish to focus on reading (and being read to) to continue encourage learning, whereas older students may want to volunteer somewhere they’re passionate about or take on a part-time job to learn new skills.
• End the letter with best wishes and thankfulness for having been able to teach the student. If you can take the time to tailor this section to each student, even better! What made this student unique? Which attributes should parents continue to focus on and encourage in their child for him/her to have success in the next school year?

If you are sending home communications to your students’ parents, it is important to also consider those families who may not speak English as a primary language (if at all). Consider having your end-of-year communications translated professionally so that these parents receive all of the same knowledge and tips as native English-speaking parents. Having this type of encouragement and information at home going into the summer will help set each student up for success in the coming year, no matter which language they speak primarily at home.