Welcome back to TXTS 4 Leaders! We hope you share our sense of renewal and optimism for the upcoming school year. We will be here every Wednesday to share timely leadership resources and inspiration.
We know you and your teachers are busily preparing to launch the school year with a warm welcome to both students and families. Since the front office staff is often the first point of contact for families and visitors, spending some time with these important staff members will pay dividends by creating a welcoming school culture. Some questions to consider:
How have you communicated to classified staff the way 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,” (2012, p. 37), they write about creating routines for welcoming families, new students, and visitors. They pose additional questions for setting expectations:
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?
What behaviors might you want to model?
Take some time to work with your office staff to brainstorm welcoming procedures so that your stakeholders feel welcomed and ready to commit to your vision.
Frey, N. E., Pumpian, I., & Fisher, D. B. (2012). How to Create a Culture of Achievement in Your School and Classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.