Communication between school and family
Your children spend a lot of time in school since they are very little and school is an important space in their lives. On this page, you find all the useful tools to always stay up-to-date and maintain good communication with the teachers.
Good school-family communication is important because this way parents can learn about their children’s educational performance, and in case of problems, look for a way together with the teacher to help the student.
Even in the case of family difficulties, it is always advisable to speak with the teachers and explain the difficulties the student may be experiencing. It is very common for many families to face difficult moments for work, economic reasons, or linked to linguistic and cultural differences. Children, even if small, can be affected by these situations in their academic results. In these cases, if there is little cooperation between the family and the school, the situation could become more difficult.
The method of communication between the school and the family can vary depending on the school and the grade (scuola elementare, media, superiore). If in doubt, you can ask the teachers what is the best way to stay in touch and communicate with them. Usually, the most used methods are the electronic register, class meetings, one-to-one meetings, and the parents’ network.
The registro elettronico, or electronic register, is an online tool where teachers insert attendance and absences, grades, delays, homework, lesson times, etc. The register also shows the other communications from the school, and the report cards in electronic version. Typically it is used in scuola media (middle school) and scuola superiore (secondary school).
The register is, therefore, a very important tool that parents use to stay informed about their children’s school progress, communicate with teachers, and request meetings.
Students can also use the register if they need to check what homework they have to do and school communications.
To access the electronic register, you must have a username and password that are given by the school secretary usually at the beginning of the first year. The electronic register can be accessed from both a computer and a mobile phone.
The schools organize some school-family meetings, for example, to show the pagelle (report cards) to parents in the first half of the school year and another meeting toward the end of the year.
Be sure to attend these meetings because they are very important opportunities to talk to teachers and to know how your child is doing at school.
If you are unable to attend the parent-teacher meetings set by the school, you can always ask for a meeting with the teachers.
It is very simple to do. You can use the electronic register or write a message in the diary, or diario, to the class coordinator. The class coordinator is the teacher who represents the other teachers and is responsible for organizing various school activities.
If, on the other hand, you need to speak to a specific teacher, such as the Math or French teacher, for example, you can request a meeting directly with them. Also, in this case, you can always ask to have a meeting. Meetings with teachers are private. Do not be afraid to talk to teachers about what worries you and what may concern your child, even if it is a family matter.
If you do not speak Italian very well and you need help talking to the teachers, you can ask the school if the language mediation service, or mediazione linguistica, is available for your language. Many municipalities in Italy offer this service for schools, hospitals, and other public places. A mediator is a person who speaks the native language of your country of origin and the Italian language and is able to help you understand and speak better with other people.
If the school does not offer the mediation service, you can also be helped by a person you trust, if you prefer. If a family member, friend, or acquaintance is available to come with you, you can also get help from them. Here too, you can notify the school in advance by telling them that you will be accompanied by a person you know to help you with the language.
Some students, for example, children who have just recently arrived in Italy, may have some difficulties in speaking and understanding the Italian language, especially at the beginning.
If your child does not speak Italian well and finds it difficult to understand and follow the classes, remember that it is totally normal and you shouldn’t be alarmed. You can talk about this with the teachers. Many schools offer additional lessons for many subjects, not only Italian. Additional classes and after-school courses may be available.
The school will inform you of the available services or they will indicate other solutions to help the child together.
Usually, parents of children with disabilities or children with special needs inform the school about the child’s health and needs before the child starts attending school or early in the year. This way, the parents and the school can create a plan to help the child throughout the year.
In addition to the child’s daily needs, parents and teachers can identify the best way to communicate in this plan. Depending on the case, it may be possible to identify a contact person, a teacher like insegnante di sostegno, or another educator.
There are many parents in Italy who keep in touch with other parents in their children’s class. Your child spends many hours in school and creating a relationship with other parents will allow you to stay informed about what is happening, ask, and find more information and help. Many parents help each other in many ways, such as picking up the children after school and organizing other activities.
Usually, parents exchange their numbers and use Apps, like WhatsApp, to create class groups and always stay up-to-date via message.