School leaders from across Minnesota share ideas for connecting with families, including non-English speaking families, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Focus on personal connections.
- Seek to make personal connections with all families.
- For those whom English is not their primary language, use educational assistants and community members to help customize messages and assist in communications.
- Reach into the community to find these bi and multi lingual community members.
Establish a mentorship group.
- Align mentors and groups by languages. One school implementing this shared it is using all staff for a ratio of 10:1.
- Mentors contact families on Mondays to find out things are going for the family. This can include academics, but should be more holistic.
- Create a form for mentors to fill in family needs such as nutrition.
- Those not contacted Monday, try Tuesday, then Wednesday.
- Any family unable to be contacted by Wed is referred to advocacy team to figure out how to reach family using community contacts and other resources.
Survey parents and students.
- Ask how the school is doing in reaching out and communicating to identify gaps and opportunities.
- Consider asking for their ideas to build connections.
- Take action to improve.
Create a private Facebook group.
- These can be for parents or for students to connect and support one another.
- They should be opt-ins.
Stay apprised of resources and news on COVID-19 for schools at: MREAvoice.org/covid19