Student Welcome Packets
June 30, 2004
On the first day of school, I give my students:
- a welcome packet containing a short letter from me to their parents, identifying myself and explaining the focus of the course;
- an abbreviated syllabus, listing the broad topics to be covered and the rough order they will be covered in;
- class rules and supply requirements; and,
- grading policies.
I also give the students an information card to fill out. (The cards are pre-printed four to the page on card stock using Print Shop.) Information to be completed is:
- the student's name, class period, mailing address, and telephone number;
- each parent's name, address, telephone numbers (home, work, and cell), and e-mail address;
- a check-box to indicate whether they would prefer student reports by e-mail, telephone, or notes sent home;
- a statement signifying they have read and understand the class rules and consequences; and,
- signature/date lines for student and parent.
At the bottom of the card, I put my last name and the course, so there is no doubt where the card must be returned. On the back of the card, I print a grid with the headings Date, Infraction, Action, Contact, and Comment to be used as documentation for disciplinary actions.
When the students return the cards, correctly filled out and signed, I give each one a homework coupon, good for a free 100 on one homework assignment or 5 points on a test grade, which expires on the last day of the first marking period. (I give them one each marking period.) I color-code the cards for each class period and file them alphabetically in a card file, which stays on my desk. I now have one place to look for parent contact information, documentation that they acknowledge my class rules and consequences, a log of disciplinary actions, and a record of parent contact.