Now is the time to think about the new students who will be joining your school community in the fall. It is important to warmly receive the new families and incorporate them into the life of your school community as quickly as possible. It is important to make sure that kids who begin attending your school have a positive experience! In most schools summer is the time when you learn about the transitions in the lives of school families. Some of the families that have been attending your school may move to other communities or other schools. Some new families will come to join your school community.
Get prepared for the students who will be joining your school in the fall. If you do not already have some sort of “host family” program at your school, now is the time to start one. If you do have a program that that usually begins in the fall, change the time frame! Get the program running before you leave for the summer so families can be “connected” before school starts.
Our “Be the First Friend” program is something each school can implement. There is one main component of the program: matching “new families” with “First Friend” families (veteran school families.) Of course, the more structure that can be added to this program, the more welcome the new families will feel and the more likely that the new families will STAY at your school, but even a simple program is better than none!
We are in the process of putting together a complete guide to our First Friend program. That complete guide will be available for purchase by next fall, but in the meantime, we will share a few resources that are currently being tested for the guide. We would LOVE your feedback or great ideas that work well in your school!
We have attached a PDF form that you can pass on to a parent or a group of parents who you believe may have the desire to make sure that new families in your community are made to feel like they belong as quickly as possible! Take 2 minutes to check out the PDF. You will find that it is easy to start a program with our Quick Start Guide. Print out a few copies of the attached First Friend Quick Start Guide or send the PDF by email on to a few potential members of your “First Friend” committee. You’ll be able to better welcome new families by next fall.