One common method of parent-teacher communication is the use of a daily home to school communication log. My son has used one pretty much since day one, but they are not just for children who are non-verbal.

Home to school communication logs are great for any child because it prevents any miscommunication or forgotten communication by the child.

mockup 1

Here are some tips I’ve gained from other parents and from working as an advocate, on how to maximize the value of your home-school communication log or sheet.

Save The Post IEP Parent Form

📧 Save this for later? 📧

We can instantly send this to your inbox. Or, send to a friend.

After all, if the information in the log is worthless, why waste everyone’s time?

Parent Communication Log

Parent-Teacher Communication Sheets are also a great way to gather data.

You can spot trends in behaviors, determine if there are patterns and much more.

These don’t have to be filed or kept a certain way. Just have a “landing place” for them, so that you have them if you need them. If they come via email, create a separate email folder for them.

If you are receiving paper copies, keep a box in a closet some place. Or, take pictures of each one before you toss it and keep it in a folder on your phone.

If you ever need that data, you have it.

School Home Communication Checklist

Parent Teacher Communication Forms

  • Get it written into the IEP under progress monitoring so that doing the log is not optional (this is for both parents and staff!).
  • You can also set a self-advocacy goal so that the child does become the main communicator at some point, beginner steps would just be getting the notebook to and from school successfully.
  • Both parents and staff should participate. It’s equally important for teachers/staff to know if your child did not sleep or had a particularly good or bad evening or morning or might not be feeling well.
  • To increase efficiency at both ends, make it simple! Put as many yes/no checkboxes as you can or things like low/med/high for behaviors. If it’s just a check and a sentence or two rather than a whole dissertation you increase the likelihood of it being done regularly (most teachers and staff have caseloads that are too high!).
  • Keep it limited to really what you need to know.

Parent Communication in IDEA

IDEA does not address this specific issue. Therefore, per IDEA, a school is not required to provide a daily communication sheet for parents. However, IDEA does not prohibit it either.

One of the main principles of special education is meaningful parent participation. Another is Individualization. So, if you need this information to be a meaningful, effective IEP team member, I would ask for it based on that.

And, while I certainly recognize that it would be difficult for a school to provide a daily communication log for every student, the I for Individualization means that if a child needs it to access FAPE, they should get it.

Keep in mind, the teacher doesn’t have to do it. This is a task that an aide or para can do. Or, if the child is doing end-of-day check-ins with staff, it can be done together at that time. It can be used to reflect on the day.

As always, make your ask in writing. Have data, and ask for a PWN with the team’s final decision.

Home to School Communication Logs

Teachers are busy. In order to increase compliance with this, make it as easy for them to complete as possible.

Use checkboxes instead of “comments” sections. Of course noteworthy things should be told to parents. But for every day stuff like “did they or didn’t they go to OT” that can be a checkbox item.

You can have the answers to the checkboxes either be yes/no, or a little bit more in depth as shown below.

Parent Teacher Documentation Log

Daily Communication Templates

Over the past 14 years of this site, this post and list has changed quite a bit. Unfortunately, while I have had a website for since 2011…not everyone else stays in it for the long haul.

I try to keep it up to date but if you find a dead link, please let me know.

  1. Daily school schedule communication template by Indiana Resources Center for Autism
  2. Daily Report Template by Indiana Resources Center for Autism
  3. Weekly Report~2 by Zeekszoo
  4. Home To School Communication by Disability Solutions (this is long, instructions on how to set up an entire notebook with PECS pictures for child to participate)

As always, please leave a comment if a link is broken so that I can try to fix.

Or, leave your favorite link and I’ll add it to the list!

Free IEP Binder
Featured Image