Contact Documentation

Discussion in 'General Education' started by soleil00, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Aug 27, 2011

    How do you keep track of your parent contact documentation?

    Colleagues have told me they write every time they contact a parent down in a spiral notebook.. but with 21 kids, I contact parents for a lot of small things. That would fill up a notebook fairly quickly.

    I'm more of an electronic person though, so I would love to have a way to document on the computer if that were possible but I'm afraid that truthfulness would fall into question with electronic documentation.
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I have a 2 inch binder I keep for each student that has all of their progress monitoring stuff in it, work samples I want to save, any meeting notes or rti stuff, etc. I just typed up a little sheet that has the time, date, reason for contacting, how contact was made (e-mail, phone, etc.) and what the parent response or outcome was. Anytime I contact a parent I put this sheet in the contact section of the student's binder. If you wanted to keep this as a word document on the computer instead of printing it out and make a file or something for them, I'm sure you could do that.
     
  4. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    I keep everything in a binder. I have the dividers with a pocket so I can slip things in when needed. I also have a contact sheet that I keep and I print out any e-mails and place it in the binder. I used to just have a file folder for each student and slip in things, but the binder keeps me more organized. Keeping a electronic file would be fine as long as you back it up...you never know with computers.
     
  5. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    waterfall - you have a binder for EACH student? How many do you have, if you don't mind me asking? I don't know where I would have room for 21 binders in my storage closet.


    The more I think about it, the more I realize that there can be truth issues with both electronic and written documentation. I can just as easily falsify written as I can electronic. I may make word documents for each of my students. It's so much more tree-friendly (and we are talking about saving our natural resources in science!) and keeps my room looking less cluttered..
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I have 20 students. I keep them in one of my cabinets.
     
  7. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I wish I had cabinets that would hold 21 binders! Mine are all full of junk the retired teacher "left me" that she thought I'd be able to use.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Throw it out. I inherited a full classroom last year since people aren't allowed to take things they bought with school budget. When I finally went through all the stuff, I literally threw away about 6-7 trashbags worth of stuff. We moved to a new building this year, and my P told people they wouldn't be getting extra storage and they really needed to weed through things and throw away the junk. I got rid of another bag that way.
     
  9. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    I teach 50 students total --- I keep a composition book with a page or two for each student (labeled with post-it flags) and I write down anytime I have to reprimand the student, give a punishment, etc -- I write down details and date it. If I call the parent, this is where I put that as well. If I email them, I save it in a "Parent Contact" folder in my email AND I print it out - I put it all in a folder in my filing cabinet, in case anything comes up.
     
  10. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I wish I could. I was asked to not throw anything away until the end of this school year because no one has time to tell me what to keep, what to throw, what the school owns, etc. So I just kind of... pretend those closets aren't there! My colleagues are lazy, and won't want to go through it until May, so until that happens my P doesn't want me trashing things that might be needed.
     
  11. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2011

    I would set up something on the computer.
    a folder for each child and then a Word document. Include date and short contact note. You could create a tickler file or use your Outlook calendar for follow ups.
     
  12. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I think I will do that Pre-K Teacher 1, it saves space in my room and I'm all about that lol! I will probably keep it on my flash drive that I bought specifically for school related stuff. That way I don't have to worry about losing it if my computer crashes.
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I have a Word doc for each student. I have all the contact information at the top with important information (if they are pregnant or have kids, if they work during the day) right underneath. Then I enter the date and details for each contact.
     
  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    That stinks! I would think you could definitely just have a folder for each child though, which would take up little space and keep you very organized. I just have a binder for each one because I'm a special ed teacher and I have to keep a lot more documentation. The majority of the space in the binder is taken up by progress monitoring stuff, which is just tons and tons of pages.
     
  15. SingBlueSilver

    SingBlueSilver Companion

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    I created a template in Word of a table. The table has headings such as Date/Time, Student Name/Period, Regarding?, Contacted or Message Left?. I left space in between lines and I printed the table. Every time I contact a parent by phone, I write down the details in the printed version. In this way, all my contacts are in chronological order and hand written in case documentation comes into question (even though I know some will still question truthfulness). I place this in my binder with my attendance records and seating chart. For other things I might need to document, I jot things down in a 1-subject spiral notebook. For emails, I created a folder in my email inbox and I save the emails there. My email has a search box, so if I need to pull up a specific email about Johnny, I can type in the parent's name or student's name and any emails about Johnny will come up in the search query. I am thinking of having just a binder for documentation though, but that might be too many things open on my desk at one time.
     
  16. LiteratureLover

    LiteratureLover Rookie

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    My 8th grade team has a log on the computer. It was created with excel, and it works perfectly. Just update it with what you need, put the date, who you talked to, what it was about, etc. Works great with bad behavior honestly. It is all documented, and admin cannot say we did not try to help in other ways than making it the principal's problem.
     
  17. dogs&teaching

    dogs&teaching Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2011

    I have Microsoft Office OneNote. I absolutely LOVE it. I have 35 elementary students and 20 preschoolers that I have to keep track of. This program is a godsend in my eyes. I know you can download a free trial of it. Try it out and see what you think.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I record everything in a notebook that I always have with me at school. I want/need to write things down immediately, so that I'm sure I remember everything accurately. If I take a phone call at 8:00am, it may be several hours later before I can sit down at a computer, so electronically doesn't work for me.
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    How about a simple word document?

    List all 21 kids in alphabetical order. Every time you speak to a particular parent, insert the date and a quick summary.
     
  20. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Sep 14, 2011

    Last year I used a big binder w/ tabs for every kid's name. This year we're doing a notebook and stapling in any notes that have gone home or stuff like that. Sure the notebook will probably get filled up pretty quickly, but we'll just get another, no biggie. I agree with the person who said that it's hard to have access to a computer during the day when I'd be documenting stuff like that. I'm documenting behavior issues all day long (or at least I did last year) and I'd never remember to get on the computer to do it.
     
  21. SuperFudge

    SuperFudge Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2011

    If you don't have room for binders, why not use file folders or hanging file folders? That's what I have used every year and it works pretty well. I mostly correspond via email as much as I can. That's the easiest way to protect myself. However, phone calls are necessary and more personal at times, but they are more work to document.
     
  22. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    We have a contact log from admin - date, student name, parent name, issue, etc. I have 150+ students; I just fill in the sheet as I go. If I tried to keep up with a separate file for each kid, I'd lose my mind.

    I'm already on my 5th sheet for the year... but I record emails in there, as well.
     

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