How families think about transitional kindergarten and whether they support it will be critical to its success. Parents generally prefer to be engaged through “person to person” interactions, particularly when it comes to new programs or changes at schools. With TK, delivering information about the program in a personal, accessible way, from a messenger they can relate to and trust is very important, especially in the initial stages of implementation.
See Communication Across the District for more information about setting up a communications plan for your district. Messaging ideas can also be found in Effective Messages About Transitional Kindergarten as well as the sample brochure and the Parent Outreach Toolkit.
When developing a parent outreach strategy, it is important to create opportunities to engage families directly through school events and resources. Below are some examples of effective outreach strategies:
Giving families an opportunity to engage in one-on-one conversations with teachers and principals about transitional kindergarten is pivotal to outreach. This has been the most important recruitment tool for many school districts. Communicating with families at this level gives them an opportunity to share their questions and concerns about TK. It also gives teachers and principals a chance to share positive information about the program and address misinformation families may have heard.