You spend a lot of energy working with teachers to make everyone feel welcome at the beginning of the year. However, it is often your front office staff or bus drivers who are the first point of contact for your stakeholders. Have you worked with the classified staff on how you want people to feel after their first point of contact? Do they have welcoming routines for in person and phone interactions? Do they know their part in the school vision and goals?
In Fisher and Frey’s How to Create a Culture of Achievement’s Chapter “Welcome,” they write about creating routines for welcoming families, new students, and visitors. What are your welcoming routines? How do you want people to feel on your campus? What behaviors do you want to model?
Fisher and Frey include some key questions on page 37 to help you determine your welcoming principles and routines:
• How far into a school can a student or parent get before they are greeted?
• How many adults can a student walk by before the student is recognized?
• Does the level of frustration of an angry parent or a scared student increase or dissipate with each step they take into your school?
Some of you have been in session for a few weeks now. Check to see how welcoming your school is to various stakeholders by monitoring with a small group over the course of the month.