Why should you send an introductory statement home to families?
When families know what to expect from a program (and what it expects of them), they are more likely to trust it. When families trust your program, they are more likely to encourage and support their students to meet its expectations and goals. To build trust, you must make a good first impression. Communicate your program’s purpose, design, and logistics in writing, so that both parties can refer back to expectations throughout the duration of the program. Ideally, a letter home should be complemented by an in-person meeting (or video/phone call) to introduce the individual tutors who will be working with students, answer each family’s questions, and build rapport with students’ parents or guardians. The checklists below will help you keep track of everything you may want to communicate to families in your introduction.
Note: If the tutoring program is set within a school, any introductory communication should be coordinated with administrators and teachers beforehand. Prior to sending out communications, the tutoring program and tutors should confirm the ideal method for introducing the program to families with school personnel. Further information about soliciting advice on communication with families can be found in the suggestions for initial meetings with administrators and teachers. Often it makes sense for an administrator or teacher to write a note to families introducing the tutoring program, and for this note to be part of a packet that includes the introductory statement and other pertinent information.
Checklist: Introductory Statement Sent Home to Families
Your Introductory Statement to Families should include both an overview of your tutoring program and considerable detail regarding expectations for students and their families. Use the checklist below as a tool to craft a comprehensive Introductory Statement appropriate for your program.
Part 1: Overview of the Tutoring Program
- Does your program have a mission statement to include? A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statement to include? A vision and values statement?
- Target: What purpose does the tutoring program serve?
- Is the program meant to help students catch up to grade-level? Accelerate learning for all students? Raise students’ grades?
- Take-Up: Is the program Voluntary, or Mandated?
- Setting: Where does tutoring take place?
- In-School? After or Outside of School?
- Is the Student-Tutor Ratio One-on-One, or Small Groups?
- Subject Area: What is the student being tutored in?
- Math? ELA? Another subject area?
- Tutors: Who is doing the tutoring?
- Where do the tutors come from? What are their backgrounds?
- What education do tutors have? What are their certifications?
- Delivery Mode: How will tutoring be conducted?
- Will tutoring be in person or virtual?
- Is there a blended learning component?
- Dosage: How often will tutoring take place?
- Is the number of sessions fixed or flexible? Is there a maximum/minimum time requirement?
- How will students stay safe and families stay in touch?
- How do families get in contact with the program in the future? With the students’ tutor?
- Who manages the tutors? How do families contact that person?
- How do families communicate a concern about a tutor or tutoring session?
- What are all the ways the program is ensuring the students’ safety?
- How are tutors background-checked? What requirements must they meet?
- What safety measures are there during tutoring sessions?
- Are virtual sessions recorded? Are there school-approved faculty members in the classroom?
Tutoring Program Introduction Letter / Permission Slip Example — In-School Tutoring
Below is a sample introduction letter/program permission slip that can be adapted.
- The exact content of a program’s letter will depend on the design of the tutoring program.
- Please see Tutor/Program-Family Communication: Crafting an Introductory Statement for additional guidance.
- Note that if the tutoring program is set within a school, any introductory communication should be coordinated beforehand with administrators and teachers.
- Prior to sending out communications, the tutoring program and tutors should confirm the ideal method for introducing the program to families with school personnel.
- Further information about soliciting advice on communication with families can be found in the suggestions for initial meetings with administrators and teachers.
- Often it makes sense for an administrator or teacher to write a note to families introducing the tutoring program, and for this note to be part of a packet that includes the introductory statement and other pertinent information.
- Any initial communication being sent to families should be on official letterhead to enhance credibility