This week, hosts Joel Gagne and Carole Dorn-Bell discuss the importance of putting your best foot forward with kindergarten parents as it’s often their first experience with the school district.

Gagne and Dorn-Bell share stories from their own experiences to help schools make informed decisions about communicating with new families.

With his daughter heading into kindergarten in Washington, D.C., Gagne says the importance of a strong first impression was not lost on him.

“One meeting with the principal convinced us to buy a house,” he says. “We knew right away that she was the right fit for us.”

Education leadership should always be an emphasis. Parents will want to know that strong leaders are in place and will remain there, and that the tone set at the top will trickle down to teachers.

Another thing to keep in mind is that just because parents went to kindergarten when they were five doesn’t mean they know how it works now.

Gagne recalls getting acclimated to pick-up times and the general rhythm of the school. He was surprised that his daughter was already being taught a foreign language.

Some of those uncertainties can be addressed during curriculum night.

And during the unavoidable acclimation process, new parents can be comforted by strong leadership and communication.

“The one thing we always felt like we could do is contact the principal, and she would get back to us in no time,” Gagne says. “If you have those strong leaders everything else will snap together.”