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Nurturing The Home-To-School Connection
Principally Speaking 03-15-23
Julio Zambrano

As an elementary school administrator with 23 years of service in California schools, I have come to understand that building relationships with students and families forms the foundation upon which a successful education is built. Students, teachers, staff, and families must be able to trust and rely on one another for learning to happen. Trust comes from knowing that people are reliable, truthful, fair, and accessible. Communication must be frequent and clear. Building trust, strengthening relationships, and creating a positive school culture by connecting home and school all have a direct impact on how students perform in class on a daily basis.

When parents and teachers work together to support student learning, we see significant improvements in academic performance, attendance, behavior, and attitudes towards learning. A strong home-to-school connection can boost a student’s self-esteem and motivation, leading to increased effort and engagement in classes. When students and families take part in events organized by the school such as Math or Science Nights, Read Across America Day, and Open House (to name a few), the school becomes positively integrated within the fabric of the larger community, and the school’s relevance to a child’s life is further enhanced. The more robust the connection is between home and school the easier it is for teachers to understand their students’ needs, interests, and style of learning, leading to more effective instruction and a more tailored learning experience for each student.

Attendance is the key ingredient to successful home-to-school connection. Whether we are talking about school attendance or participation in school based extracurricular events, being present is a prerequisite for the “magic” to happen. Simply put, regular school attendance is essential for academic success and sets a pattern for future success in college and the workplace. Regular parent participation at school brings a palpable energy and makes a campus feel alive. When parents are present as volunteers in the classroom, they get a firsthand look at their child in a different light. The insights they glean from observing teaching and learning, and active participation in school activities with their child’s teacher and peers further strengthens the bond between home and school.

It is important to note at this point that parents can support their child’s education at home by creating a quiet and organized space and setting aside time for children to do their homework, having a structured and predictable home routine, encouraging literacy, and communicating proactively with their child’s teacher and/or office staff when an issue arises. Access to books and writing materials is key, and the importance of having age-appropriate literature at home, or regularly visiting the local library, cannot be overstated.

As educators and parents, we can always take steps to improve the home-to-school connection. These steps include participating in parent-teacher conferences, downloading smart phone apps and signing up for classroom communications, getting involved in school initiatives and chaperoning field trips, taking part in committees such as Parents Club, School Site Council (SSC), and the English Learners Advisory Committee (ELAC). Furthermore, participating in District Wide Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) community input sessions is essential if parents want to take part in guiding, developing, and implementing school and district initiatives.

I strongly encourage parents and staff to actively work together to strengthen the connection between home and school. By doing so, we can ensure that our students have the best possible chance for success in school and in the “real world”. It is our collective responsibility to foster and nurture this partnership every single day, and by doing so, we can help our students to maintain a healthy and positive outlook to achieve their full potential.


Principally Speaking is a monthly article, contributed by principals from Escalon Unified School District sites, throughout the school year. It is designed to update the community on school events and activities.