Schools employ people in a wide variety of positions, from teachers to cafeteria workers and everything in between. A school liaison is often hired by schools to help bridge the gap between the school and parents. Some of these liaisons also facilitate communication between different types of schools, such as public and charter schools.
A school liaison's primary duty is to be a go-between for parents and the school. If a student is experiencing problems in class, such as disruptive behaviour, struggling with classwork or difficulty paying attention, the teacher alerts the school liaison of the situation. The school liaison's job is then to contact the parents and discuss the issue. If it is deemed necessary, the school liaison sets up a meeting with the parents, teacher and possibly the principal to discuss the issue. The liaison is also present for this meeting. Any communication is directed through the liaison.
Sometimes, a teacher has issues that she does not know how to handle within her class because she has either never encountered them before or is a new teacher. A school liaison is responsible for serving as a resource to the teachers. The liaison is available to a teacher to discuss what is going on in her class and ask for assistance. The liaison can give the teacher advice, find resources to help her or make recommendations for further services the student in question may require.
Not all communication that a school liaison must participate in takes place within the school. In some cases, the liaison may conduct his job by making phone calls to parents and other resources. However, many school liaisons are also asked to make home visits. For some parents, having these types of discussions in their own home can help to reduce the feeling that they are being pressured or harassed. The school liaison can also get a glimpse into a child's home life and make recommendations to the parents to help the child in school through changes to home life.
Meetings and Reporting
Many school liaisons are required to attend meetings that are associated with their work. This includes parent-teacher consultations, staff meetings, school board meetings and other special meetings called that relate to liaison work. In addition, liaisons are responsible for completing reports to keep the principal and teacher up to date on how things are going in each of the cases for which the liaison is responsible. These reports include updates on a child's progress and the status of the parent's involvement in correcting issues.
Some schools require that school liaisons help out in other areas as well, especially if the school has a smaller budget. A school liaison may become responsible for organising activities to help get parents involved in the school or to offer tutoring services to struggling students. She may also be asked to help students whose first language is not English to learn English and do better in school. In California, some school liaisons are even asked to provide transportation to students who otherwise would not be able to get to school.