9 Tips for Hosting a Successful Back-to-School Meeting
Part 2 of the Blog Series: SETTING UP FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL SUCCESS
Does your school or grade level have a Back-to-School Informational Meeting? It’s such a great way to share crucial information about class routines, homework policies, curriculum, volunteers, and all of that important stuff that we need to share with our students’ families. It is a perfect time to get most parents to attend, since they are usually so excited about the new school year and have so many questions. Listed below are our top 9 tips for hosting an informational meeting and a PowerPoint Presentation template FREEBIE that you can use for your own Back-to-School Informational Meeting.
- Make it inviting by having music playing as the adults come in, a welcome slide up on the screen, pencils or pens and the handouts (on colored paper if possible) on the tables (or chairs if that is what you use), and anything else to make them feel welcome. We also usually tell them something funny and personal about ourselves, so we start building a relationship with them. You may even want to have a raffle or drawing for anyone that attends. You can give away something free (lunch with the teacher for their student), something silly (100 Grand Bar), or something more serious (coffee gift cards).
- Pair it with a Meet-the-Teacher event to get the most attendance. If you hold a Meet-the-Teacher event, have the Back-to-School Informational Meeting right after or before it. After we do our Meet the Teacher in our own classrooms, we hold our Back-to-School Informational Meeting as a grade level in our multipurpose room.
- Offer childcare if feasible or offer quiet activities (coloring pages) for students to do during the Back-to-School Informational Meeting. Our principal hires two or three paraprofessionals or yard supervisors to watch the students during the meeting. You can have the students watch a short movie, play on the playground, complete coloring pages and simple crafts, or have manipulatives set up for them to play with. They can be at tables at the back of where you hold your Back-to-School Informational Meeting or in a different room or building.
- Keep the Back-to-School Informational Meeting short and sweet (about 20 minutes), and then give the parents time to ask questions. Just give them the “What they need to know now!” information. We know you have a captive audience, and it is tempting to tell them all the things. BUT… too much information at once can be very overwhelming. We always hold a special reading informational meeting about six weeks into the school year to give more information.
- Share the information you covered and any additional information you want to share in a handout, email, and/or through a video. You can pass out the paper handout at the Back-to-School Informational Meeting, and also send it as an email attachment if that works for your population. You can also use Screencastify or something similar to record a presentation (voiceover while sharing slides), and send that out electronically as well.
- Share how you will communicate with parents, and how you want them to communicate with you (through an app, email, phone class, notes home, etc.). Make sure to share all contact information with them. A refrigerator magnet or business card with all of your contact information on it, is a nice way to share it. We bought magnetic sheets that you can print on from Amazon to make ours.
- Have the parents sign up for your communication platform (Dojo, Remind, Seesaw, etc.) right then and there. Have your sign up information on a slide in your presentation and give the parents the few minutes to do it.
- Provide a translator or do a different presentation entirely if possible. This may not be feasible for everyone if there are many languages present at your school. Also, make sure that all handouts that are shared are translated as well.
- Have a couple of donation stations set up or share Amazon Wish Lists (one for necessary classroom supplies and one for extras to enhance instruction) for parents that would like to give donations. For the donation stations, you can write or print the item needed on a cute cut out and place them in a couple of spots or on the tables themselves.
Click HERE or on the image to download an EDITABLE Back-to-School Informational Meeting PowerPoint presentation template FREEBIE.
Click HERE or on the image to check out our kid-themed EDITABLE Back-to-School Informational Meeting PowerPoint presentation template product with over 70 slides!
Our next blog post in our Blog Series: SETTING UP FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL SUCCESS is all about setting up your classroom. It includes a handy check list to make the process easier. Click HERE to read it.
Have a great Back-to-School Informational Meeting! If you have any questions or want to share some tips or pictures from your own meeting, please respond below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.