The composition of the modern family is often much different from the traditional nuclear family consisting of a mother and father and their biological children. Nowadays, households can consist of various combinations of single parents, grandparents, stepchildren, nieces and nephews, and other family members. 

As a K-12 private school administrator seeking to build or maintain your institution’s enrollment, it’s important to recognize these unique and evolving family dynamics and how they impact your recruitment efforts. This knowledge can also help teachers meet the needs of these non-traditional students in the classroom. 

Communicating With Non-Traditional Families

Effective communication is crucial for engaging non-traditional families and appealing to their needs. Administrators and teachers need to consider the various communication barriers that may exist in these situations and how to overcome them. 

For example, in a common non-traditional family scenario, one or two grandparents are primarily responsible for raising the children. In some cases, these individuals may need to gain the technical skills to use modern communication tools like smartphones or email that most administrators and teachers use frequently Schools can help older caregivers navigate this obstacle by providing training resources or offering to set up group training sessions at their school.

Divorce poses another challenge for schools. Administrators and teachers need to recognize that each parent may have different levels of engagement in their child’s education. It’s important to make an effort to reach out to both individuals and keep the lines of communication open. 

Additionally, with LGTBQ families, K-12 schools must be aware of and address their unique concerns. Given the prevalence of bullying and harassment incidents these families experience, they may require a more personalized approach to demonstrate an awareness of their circumstances and establish trust. 

Non-Traditional Families and Schools: Supporting Students in the Classroom

Teachers can play a vital role in making the classroom and learning experience more comfortable for non-traditional students by understanding their unique situations. In some cases, students have additional responsibilities outside of school that impact their academic performance. 

An example is when a child must care for younger siblings while a single parent is at work. These extra duties may prevent the student from completing homework or projects on time. The teacher can help by being flexible and working with the child to find alternative scheduling solutions. 

Teachers should also watch for emotional or behavioral issues non-traditional students may be experiencing due to their circumstances. They should elicit support from school psychologists or utilize other available resources as needed. 

TADS: Helping You Deliver a Better Family Experience

Schools and non-traditional families can benefit from TADS, a brand under the Community Brands umbrella. This cloud-based full-service software solution for school administrators enables you to enhance the family and student experience by providing modern features and communication tools to ensure everyone is connected, supported, and up to date. Contact us to request a convenient and no-obligation product demo today. 

Share This