We have an opportunity at school to go beyond the assessment and routine of school and really do something special. I want to talk about building a learning community, what ideas do you have that gets them in the door, that builds communication, that builds families together with the school, that opens the door all the way from high maintenance mums to the working dad, the Maori and polynesian community, the masses of ethnicities, send in your ideas. I have listed a few below that seem insignificant but done properly they can be powerful.
Road Crossing Duty - great dialogue to be had here.
Values Postcards - sending something in the mail is awesome and so simple.
Twitter - get some followers and keep it current.
Interactive School Website - parents and your community must feel welcome and make it easy.
Parent Information Days/evenings - literacy numeracy and just plain old fun.
Big school events: cross country/athletics/art shows etc - make them the best they have ever been, food, and fun.
Morning Coffee Days - one principal has a local coffee shop and publishes the times she will be there (once a week) which gives parents the opportunity to join them informally.
Home Visits - you have to knock on doors to get to know people, invite them to events personally.
Assemblies - these are not freemasons meetings, invite your community.
Magic Key - I heard of a principal who sent keys out to the community and had a prize for the person with the key that opened some box, he had heaps attend.
Race Night/Quiz Night - which double as fundraising and social activities.
Term Booklets - send home a booklet of achievement each term.
Meet the Teacher - before the year started.
Principals Forum - Informal discussions (2 per term) with any parents not specifically about your own kid, but ideas, discussion and questions about education.
Homework - Neil has the whole family medal thing working with his hwk challenges.
I know that writing an idea in one sentence can seem naff and can sound shallow and in a lot of ways a blog doesn't even start to scratch the way we open our door to learning and engagement but so what. Keep it short and flick them in the pot and we will assume any idea you have is actually done really well. This is your opportunity to sound good without having to back it up.