Parents are a key to the success of their children in school and extra-curricular activities. Welcome letters are a fantastic way to include parents in their children's learning process from the beginning of a new class or school year. A welcome letter is the ideal place to introduce yourself as the teacher or leader of the activity, as well as an opportune time to encourage parental participation.
Open the letter with a friendly address, such as "Dear Parents". Other options include, "Welcome Back Parents," "Hello Everyone" or "Welcome Parents and Students". This address will start the letter on friendly and warm terms. If you are addressing a welcome letter to a specific family for a new student you should open the letter with the family's name, for example "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smtih" or "Dear Mr. Davis."
Open with a general welcome to the new school year or summer program. Include a summary of goals, such as future school projects, due dates and fundraisers, so parents will know what the full letter will cover. For fall programs, open with an outline of the items you will discuss in the main body of the letter. For example, "Welcome back from the hot summer and into another exciting school year. I hope everyone was able to get some rest and is geared up for the school year ahead. I wanted to write this letter to discuss the program for the first day of school, the due date for school fees, and my larger goals for the whole class." If you are writing a letter for a summer program an example would be, "I hope this letter finds everyone well and refreshed. The summer program for fifth graders will begin in just a few weeks and I want to outline the program calendar, due dates and goals for your reference."
Outline the program or school-year goals for the students. You can give details of the syllabus, such as how many books you would like the class to read, the types of assignments and the expectations you have for the students. For example, "This year I am excited to announce we will be reading four classic children's novels as a class. These readings will require weekly quizzes and discussions to encourage everyone to pursue a higher reading level."
Show parents how they can encourage their children to complete the assignments and stay involved with the syllabus. Write in a positive tone, and emphasise your certainty that parents will support their children's studies. For example, "This year will be challenging and stimulating for every student, and I know that you will support and encourage them to complete the work each week as they study at home." Mention any school performances, fundraisers or volunteer options, in which parents can get involved. If possible, give the exact dates of these events so that parents can sign up or contact you early on. For example, "I encourage you to get involved with the numerous class projects we will pursue this coming year. Our class garden will need parent volunteers to take care of the garden over the weekend. I will have a sign-up sheet available for any parents interested in volunteering."
Encourage parents to tour the school, get more information or contact you with questions. Include details about what resources are available on the school grounds, and how you can help with questions. For example, "I know this coming year will be hectic, but I hope you will have a few moments to look over the school grounds and contact me with any questions. We have a plethora of resources and pamphlets in our central office and I want to get to know each one of you personally. Please feel free to get in touch with me at (insert a phone number or e-mail address here)".
Use a friendly and positive tone, and avoid sounding accusatory as you ask for parents' support. Edit the letter a few times to look for typos and grammatical mistakes.