Making The Grade: How to share and communicate data with parents

Dec 20, 2022 | Uncategorized

As many schools reach the halfway point in the school year, report cards and grades are going out to parents who may or may not be aware of their child’s academic performance. 

As teachers and education professionals, it’s important to have relevant information and data handy to explain to parents/guardians. In the event that a student’s academic performance/progress comes as a surprise to their parents/guardians, having solutions ready can help ensure a successful second half of the school year. Here are some tips on how to share and communicate data with parents/guardians at the midway point in the school year.

  1. Have all data ready.

It may be a surprise to a parent/guardian that their child’s grades aren’t what they expected, so disbelief may have them thinking you missed something. Having all of your data on hand, accounted for and accurate can help you to address any questions that come up. 

It may take double and triple checking, but taking the time to make sure everything is as it should be when meeting with parents/guardians is worth it in the long run.

  1. Honesty is the best policy.

As a teacher, your code of ethics should always include honesty. 

While a parent could be less than pleased with their child’s performance, it is your responsibility to be straightforward with the parent and the child about how this happened, why it happened and what can be done to change it.

When you are honest with a parent, it is up to them to accept the reality of what is being presented to them or not. However it turns out, you know that you were honest about the data you presented.

  1. Offer solutions.

It’s rare that a student can’t turn around a bad first half of the year. Offering solutions to the student and their parents to fix their school year immediately is a great way to build trust with parents and encouragement for students. 

Use the data to pinpoint what exactly is required to succeed and pass in your class and develop a strategy in concert with the parents and student to make sure each party knows what is required in order to turn things around.

While data can be intimidating for parents, students and teachers alike, coming to a collective understanding of it all now is better than the end of the year, when it’s too late to steer a student back on the right path.

At SMJ Communications, we provide services to school systems and districts to help improve and shine a light on the great work being done to educate the future leaders and professionals of tomorrow. For more information on what we do and how we can work together, please visit