Positive and Productive Home-School Connections

Educator uses deliberate approaches to foster and nurture strong, productive working relationships with students' family members.
Made by iLearnMaine
This micro-credential is no longer available.
Earn Graduate Credit
Graduate-level credit is available for this micro-credential. You can apply for credit through one of our university partners after successfully completing the micro-credential.
Learn More About Graduate Credit

About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Educator involves students in frequent digital communications with family members to create and nurture positive, productive home–school connections.

Method Components

Key Components of Home–School Connections

Educators build strong home–school connections by involving students in frequent digital communications in many ways. The key components of this process include:

  • Proactive, personalized communication with family members
  • Frequent digital communication
  • Involves students in creating and delivering communications

Outcomes or Goals for Home–School Connections

  • The teacher builds personal relationships with family members.
  • Family members partner with the classroom teacher to support a student’s learning.
  • Family members are knowledgeable about their student’s learning progress.

Suggested Implementation Methods

  • Digital Communication:
    • Video
    • Text
    • Website
    • Blog
    • Email
    • Social media
  • Communication Content:
    • Start every conversation with a positive statement about the child or family member.
    • Focus on student work.
    • Provide a clear description of the learning activity that led to the student work.
    • Provide a clear description of the learning targets that were the focus of the learning activity.
    • Provide evidence of how the student’s work relates to the learning targets or the significance of the learning activity.
    • Discuss the student’s progress toward becoming proficient in the learning targets.
    • Solicit information from parents using multiple formats.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Abilock, Debbie. “Parent Internet Driving School: Using Technology to Increase Parent Involvement in Schools.” Technology Connection, vol. 4, no. 3, 1997, pp. 12–13. ERIC. Accessed 26 Sept. 2015.

Offering digital learning opportunities to parents during parent conferences can strengthen home–school connections.

Brief text messages to parents are effective in terms of increasing student completion of high school credit recovery courses.

  • Ladky, Mary, and Shelley Stagg Peterson. “Successful Practices for Immigrant Parent Involvement: An Ontario Perspective.” Multicultural Perspectives, vol. 10, no. 2, 2008, pp. 82–89. Academic Search Complete. Accessed 22 Sept. 2015.

Digital communication is one strategy suggested to improve communication with immigrant families.

Parents prefer seeing actual samples of their children’s work instead of traditional reporting methods.

Because parent–school relationships matter in terms of student success, it is valuable to be aware of positive and negative examples.

  • Olmstead, Christine. “Using Technology to Increase Parent Involvement in Schools.” Techtrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, vol. 57, no. 6, 2013, pp. 28–37. ERIC. Accessed 26 Sept. 2015.

Decisions about when and how to use current technologies in home–school communication determine the value recognized.

  • Pogoloff, Susan Mayfield, and Robin H. Lock. “Facilitate Positive Relationships between Parents and Professionals.” Intervention in School & Clinic, vol. 40, no. 2, 2004, pp. 116–119. Academic Search Complete. Accessed 26 Sept. 2015.

Personalizing communication methods and other strategies pay dividends in terms of the effectiveness of overall home–school relationships.

  • Thompson, Blair Christopher, et al. “The Changing Nature of Parent–Teacher Communication: Mode Selection in the Smartphone Era.” Communication Education, vol. 64, no. 2, 2015, pp. 187–207. ERIC. Accessed 26 Sept. 2015.

As communication technologies evolve, parents appreciate it when schools and teachers stay current.


  • Empowering Parents Through Technology to Improve the Odds for Children
    Digital Opportunity for Youth Issue Brief Number 7
  • Ten Tips for Involving Families through Internet-Based Communication
    Sascha Mitchell, Teresa S. Foulger, and Keith Wetzel

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

Following are the items you must submit to earn this micro-credential and the criteria by which they will be evaluated. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3, and a rating of "Applying" or better for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview Questions

(200-word limit for each response or 1-minute video/audio limit for each response)

  • Classroom Environment Description: Briefly describe your classroom context, e.g., age/grade of students, general student demographics, the subject(s) you teach, anything special or unique about your context, etc.
  • Activity Description: Describe the activity or project you, your students, and their family members engaged in to build a productive home–school connection.
  • Activity Evaluation: How do you know your home–school connection improved by engaging in the activity or project described above? What evidence did you collect that demonstrates these gains?

Part 2. Work Examples/Artifacts

To earn this micro-credential, please submit three examples of digital communication (e.g., emails, audio, images, video, or other artifacts). Each example should:

  • Come from two different students to family members
  • Demonstrate progress towards building a strong home–school connection and include components such as focusing on student work, communicating progress and learning goals, and/or soliciting information from family members.

Part 3. Family Member Reflection

(200-word limit or 90-second video/audio limit for each reflection):

Submit two family member-created reflections on the frequent digital communication activities they experienced. Use the following questions as guidance:

  • How did receiving frequent digital communication from your student help improve your relationship with the teacher?
  • How did this affect your view of what constitutes good collaborations between family and school?
  • How did this activity change your view of your child’s classroom and education?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document