Communicating for Connection

This four-part professional development covers all the basics your team needs to reach out and engage families. Patricia can deliver the workshops in a day-long training, two half-day sessions, or in four parts over the course of a school year. This training is designed to give your staff practical tips, tools, and techniques they can use immediately to improve their school- home communication.

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Communicating for Connection

The key to effective family engagement is relationship building. And, relationships start with effective communication.

This year, we have all learned just how important it is to bring families into the learning process.

It’s not just nice, it’s necessary.

But before we can begin to partner with families, we need to communicate with them in ways they understand and in ways that are respectful of their expertise.

My full- and multi-day staff workshops and trainings are designed to inspire your team and empower them with the thinking, knowledge, and practical skills to build positive and productive relationships with everyone in your school community.

All of my courses are custom-built around your district and its team and can be delivered virtually or in-person.

Check out the sample workshop below — and contact me when you’re ready to take the next step to clear, effective home-school communication.

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Module 1

The Importance and Challenge of School-Home Communication

In this module, participants are introduced to the intersection of family engagement and communication and the cultural and systemic barriers to home/school communication. Through interactive activities, participants use their new knowledge to work through examples that lift up and effectively demonstrate key school communication concepts. Participants will emerge from the session with a greater ability to recognize school communications that don’t work and a stronger practical foundation to create communications that do.

Learning goals:

  • Acquire a basic understanding of family engagement and communication.
  • Recognize the critical importance of family engagement and risks of ineffective communication.
  • Practice recognizing and identifying complicated words and acronyms that prevent effective family communications.
  • Understand the difference in communication styles and their effect on parent understanding.
  • Learn to analyze and critique school communications through the lens of the parents and caregivers.

Module 2

The Words We Use

Often the language we use to explain school practices and goals to families is complicated and full of educational jargon and acronyms. This session gives participants the skills and practice they need to actively “translate” those words and acronyms into effective family communication. In addition to learning what words not to use, participants will learn what words to use as they forge partnerships with families.

Learning goals:

  • Easily recognize and identify complicated words and acronyms that prevent effective family and school communication.
  • Compare and contrast the use of complex “education” words and phrases.
  • Analyze complicated words and translate them into simpler, more understandable language for use in communicating with parents.
  • Identify and practice the “Best Friend” concept of clear writing and/or communicating with one person in mind.
  • Understand the emotional impact of words and how word choice factors into effective school communication.

Module 3

Information Overload

The amount of information that schools send home, how it is sent home, and what is sent home can often cause parents to tune us out and disengage. That’s why it’s important to give parents and caregivers the information they want and need to know in a way that cuts through the busyness and noise of their daily lives. In this session, participants will learn how to pare down existing or confusing information into digestible, useful communication pieces used to help build trust and family engagement.

Learning goals:

  • Draw connections between attention span and information.
  • Examine the concept of tiered communication differentiation.
  • Understand the importance of family choice and preferences in school communication.
  • Identify the presence of school/home “communication highways” for delivering information.
  • Draw on the knowledge of parents with an eye toward streamlining information.
  • Understand the importance of repetition in school communication.
  • Think like the “receiver” of the information.

Module 4

It’s How You Say It

Words matter. But how we string words together or how we say words often matters more. Non-verbal communication makes up 65 percent to 85 percent of all communication. In this session, participants will emerge with simple tips and techniques they can use to evaluate their tone and body language when communicating or engaging with parents.

Learning goals:

  • Recognize the power of tone and body language in communication.
  • Compare and contrast written and spoken words for tone.
  • Understand how personal emotions factor into school communications.
  • Understand how the emotions of parents and caregivers factor into communications.
  • List simple ways to check for and demonstrate effective two-way school communication.

What people are saying about the presentations

ESC of Northeast Ohio

I loved this class! Patricia was super engaging and I feel like I really gained a lot of knowledge and insight from these classes. The group we had was open and honest and I believe we all gained a lot of communication skills that will be put to good use!

IEL 2021 Conference Attendee

Patricia was amazing!!!!! She was very knowledgeable and her examples were great!

NSPRA 2021 Conference Attendee

I’ve already implemented some of these strategies into my district communications.

ESC of Northeast Ohio

The series was set up with discussions, hands on applications, time to ask questions and plan ahead. From the beginning to end it was worthwhile time spent spent focusing on specifically on communication to families.

NSPRA 2021 Conference Attendee

Best virtual session, in my opinion. Excellent and engaging presentation.

NSPRA 2021 Conference Attendee via Twitter

Your tips are already impacting my work this morning as I craft a parent communication. Your work truly makes a difference.

Kids Count Conference 2019 Attendee

Great Examples of real-life situations and fun activities that get the points across in a memorable way.

ESC of Northeast Ohio

The Masterclass is beneficial to groom and grow your ability to effectively communicate to all stakeholders. It diminishes many preconceived ideas and replaces them with new simple innovative ways to communicate across all forms of media. This class is a must take if you are an intricate part of the communications team within your District.

Not sure how to fund this work?

Are you interested in partnering with Patricia to improve your school-home communication but don’t quite know where to begin to look for funding?

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Take the first step toward stronger parent relationships today.

Give your team the skills — and the confidence they need to succeed.