Writing a formal letter is an effective way to voice your concerns, ask questions, and make suggestions about the school district to the board of education.
If you want your voice to be heard and to show your concern for your child and others in the community, writing a letter to the school board is an important step. For over a century, schools have relied on their boards of education to represent the community in academic matters. School boards advocate for teachers and administrators, ensuring they have the tools and training necessary to be effective educators. Boards also play a pivotal role in setting the curriculum. In addition, boards are also responsible for setting policies designed to ensure all students receive the education necessary to be successful in college and the workforce.
There are several reasons people write letters to the school board. It may be to voice concerns or thoughts on a particular topic or to file a complaint about an event or incident. Communicating with the school board regarding your child’s education, special services, or school functions shows your concern for your child’s well-being and quality of instruction. By using a formal method to communicate with the board, you can expect board members will also respond formally. School districts typically have a timeframe within which they must address issues.
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Tips for How to Write a Letter to the School Board
Writing a letter to the board of education allows you to address a serious concern about a particular topic. You can write to the entire board or a specific person. When you compose a letter to the board, present your issues in a logical, well-organized manner. It should be written formally and with respect.
Begin the letter by introducing yourself and identify whether you are a parent, teacher, or another member of the community, and the subject of your concern. This provides context for your letter. Use a positive tone by commending them on the quality of teachers or administration, direction of the curriculum, or other aspects of the school district. Include a statement that indicates you are confident they will address your concerns seriously. The board may view this as a balanced, open-minded perspective, making members more likely to give your concern the attention it deserves.
State Your Purpose
Use a voice of authority and state the purpose of the letter. Write with confidence, showing that you understand the topic you are discussing. When organizing the communication, ask yourself the following: Why you are writing? What are your concerns or questions? What actions do you wish to see?
Present Your Concerns
Start by explaining the situation. Keep the letter short, ideally no more than a page, but make sure you include pertinent information. If you are writing about an incident, add names, times, and dates. Maintain a positive and respectful tone when detailing the situation. Relate the facts as you know them. Refrain from becoming emotional, issuing threats, or using profanity, even if you are upset.
Describe the steps you have taken to resolve the matter or investigate events that occurred. This may include detailing conversations with teachers, parents, or other school officials. Attach any relevant supporting documentation. Identify how you would like the problem resolved.
Conclude the letter on a friendly note and express your appreciation in advance for the board members’ time and attention. Be kind and respectful. They work hard and often do not get paid. Communicating with them is not about complaining. Be specific about the issue you are addressing and be candid about your thoughts.
Use the grammar and spell-check features of your software or ask someone to edit your message to ensure it is error-free. Before sending the letter, take a moment to re-read it. If you were upset when you wrote it, give yourself time to calm down and read it again. Put yourself in the position of the recipients. Is your depiction of the situation and request clear? Don’t forget to date the letter and ask for a reply. Provide your contact information, including your email address and phone number to ensure they have everything they need to provide a response. Keep a copy of all correspondence for your records as a reference for future communication.
Below is a sample letter. Personalize it by adding or changing information to suit your particular needs.
Anytown Board of Education
Phone / email
Dear [Name] School Board Members, (If sending to individual members, personalize your letter with their name)
[Personalize the introduction – State whether you are a parent, teacher, community member, or have another connection to the school district.]
I am a parent whose child attends Acme Elementary School. I would like the board to consider adding a bus stop at the corner of Elm Street and Main Street. Currently, children in my area must go to the nearest stop at West End and Main Street. This requires a half-mile walk and crossing several busy streets.
I know that the school board is committed to the safety of all children. Approving this stop would align with the values and mission of the school district. There are several benefits to the modification of this route:
- The school bus passes through the intersection of Elm Street and Main Street on the way to the current stop, which means the route does not need significant changes.
- Several families in my neighborhood have children who must walk to the West End and Main Street stop.
- By having the bus stop closer to home, there is less risk as the students only need to cross one street.
- Many parents I have spoken with drop their children on campus because of the length of the walk. This causes traffic issues at the school. By adding the bus stop closer to home, more parents will allow their children to ride the bus. Congestion in the drop-off area at the school will decrease.
I appreciate the time and effort the school board puts into protecting the safety of our children. I look forward to hearing from you on this matter. If you would like to discuss this request further, please contact me at your earliest convenience at 123-456-7890.
Thank you for your time, service, and consideration.