A Guide to Effective Communication in Schools

All schools need to have communication protocols and policies to ensure effective and efficient dialogue and dissemination of information. Communication channels come in the form of written communication (letters, newsletters, etc.), electronic (email), phone, and face-to-face (parent-teacher conferences). As such, the school must make policies to keep communication professional among the stakeholders.

Below are other examples of policies that should be mandatory for all schools.


To effectively communicate with all members of the school community, each one is expected to follow these basic rules:

1.   All members of the school community are expected to conduct themselves professionally.

2.   Always check for grammar and spelling errors and proofread the message before it is sent out. Use professional language.

3.   Always be prepared. Organize your thoughts before communicating, whether you are initiating or responding.

4.   Avoid the use of jargon.

5.   Keep the message straight to the point. Avoid talking about topics not related to your agenda.

6.   Keep copies of all communication on file.

Teacher to Parent/Guardian

1.   All written communication must be proofread by at least two other teachers and be approved by the principal or head of school before being sent to the parent or guardian.

2.   On the first day of school, teachers will send a note to parents through the student. It will include a short introduction, contact information, and class schedule.

3.   Use electronic communication only if the parent or guardian says it is their preferred communication method.

4.   Communicate only during work hours. Do not send or respond to emails beyond office hours.

5.   Keep a log sheet of all calls. Indicate the date, time, and reason for each call.

6.   Avoid unannounced calls and meetings. The parent/guardian and teacher must agree on a schedule. If you are calling regarding an urgent matter, maintain a calm and professional tone while talking.  

Face-to-Face Meetings with Parents

1.   Start with positive feedback. Communicate negative feedback or areas for improvement in a constructive way.

2.   Bring copies of notes, exams, assessments, and other relevant documents.

3.   Wear appropriate attire.

Other Communication

Teachers are expected to send out the following messages to parents regularly:

1.   A weekly compilation of quizzes, tests, and notes to be signed by the parents and returned to the teachers.

2.   Bi-weekly progress reports


1.   The principal will send daily emails at the start of the day containing announcements, events, and reminders. Teachers are expected to check their emails daily.

2.   Mandatory weekly meetings will be conducted. The agenda will be sent to everyone before the meeting. Attendance is a must.

3.   Teachers can contact the principal directly regarding any concerns, requests, and ideas through email.

4.   Teachers are expected to check their mailbox daily.

5.   Expect announced and unannounced classroom visits.

Learning Packets for Substitute Teachers

1.   Prepare a learning packet to be utilized by the substitute teacher. This packet must contain at least three (3) activities that students can do under the substitute teacher’s supervision.

2.   If you will not be able to go to school for the day, inform the principal or the academic coordinator as soon as possible.

3.   In the event of extended leaves/absences (e.g., hospitalizations, illness, vacation, etc.), the learning packet should contain a sufficient number of lesson plans and learning materials until the teacher can report back to work.

4.   Include in the packet an updated class list, seating chart, and other pertinent information about students that the substitute teacher needs to know to conduct the class successfully.

5.   Update the learning packet as you move through lessons and topics.

Communicating with Students

1.   Communication with students will take place during school hours only.

2.   Allow all students to communicate with the teacher.

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