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Call Parent Or Note Home

Call Parent Or Note Home

Why should I do it:

  • Provides parents with direct & accurate info on child’s school behaviors
  • Helps to keep issues, situations, and circumstances clarified
  • Builds rapport, trust, and open dialogue between school and home
  • Helps establish and maintain behavioral limits that are consistent between school and home
  • Some kids respond very well to calls home
  • Gives parents power to enforce and follow through with limits and consequences
  • Avoids situations where kids can use misinformation to pit teachers against parents and manipulate the situation to avoid taking responsibility for their actions
  • Encourages some students behavior positively
  • Can take a small behavioral or academic gain and create more significant momentum
  • Can create parent “buy in” or establish of improve rapport with parents
  • Boosts student self esteem and self confidence

When should I do it:

  • As a consequence
    • When a student breaks a rule or whose actions are disruptive enough to require a formal consequence
    • When a child is exhibiting a chronic habitual behavior problem
    • When you need more support in addressing a behavior
    • When the behavior appears to be stemming from something in the home
    • When you suspect a child’s behaviors are due to environmental circumstance, like a family death, illness, etc.
    • When the student does not seem to respond to your authority
    • When there does not appear to be home consequences for poor behavior in school
  • As a reward
    • When a student has been well behaved
    • When a student has done well on an academic task
    • When a student has been helpful
    • When a student meets a daily, weekly, monthly goal, either academic or behavioral
    • When a student needs to be encouraged to do something
    • When a student is a significant behavioral or academic problem and does ANYTHING remotely positive or productive

How do I do it:

  • Use a calm neutral tone with parents to avoid arguments, blame games, and power struggles
  • Describe the behavior clearly and with detail
  • Explain what you have already tried to address the behavior
  • Do not dwell on blaming the parent for the child’s behaviors, rather focus on solutions, whether on the child’s part of the parent’s
  • Ask the parent for their input and ideas to get them involved
  • Always say something positive about the child or something they did well
  • Have the child’s grades, behavior records, and the specific data ready in front of you when you call

Alternative Methods:

  • Consequences
    • Simply threatening to call home and picking up the phone can be enough to correct some behaviors or initiate certain responses, but be willing to follow through and actually call if the child calls your bluff
    • Some children may have an especially close or well established rapport with other staff in your building, so calling these staff or saying you will call them may be as effective as doing so with the child’s parent.
  • Rewards
    • When students have a good rapport with a staff person, you may send a positive note or phone call to that staff person about the student’s accomplishment. The staff person you contact can then help to praise and encourage the student, creating good momentum.

Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)


  1. Williams, K. 9 Techniques for Building Solid Parent-Teacher []
  2. Sasson, D. (2006). Contact with Parents: Building Positive Parent-Teacher Relationships []
  3. Massachusetts Teachers Association. Tips for calling parents []
  4. Massachusetts Teachers Association, Adapted from Bright Ideas, an NEA Checklist Series publication. Telephoning Parents []