APPLEGATE: Building a family-school relationship

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 13, 2021

There has never been a more important time for school districts — including teachers, principals, counseling staff and administrators — to have strong relationships with students and their families. While the family-school relationship has always been a key component to students’ success, we are seeing an even greater need to build a strong connection with families. Together, we must work towards our mutual goal: providing the area’s children with the high-quality education and emotional support that they need to excel.

Over the past year, families and schools have created a stronger bond despite social distancing, virtual meetings and new ways of learning. Out of an abundance of caution, we will continue to host parent-teacher conferences and informational sessions virtually for the remainder of the year, and strongly encourage that our families participate in such meetings when possible. We want to meet safely with families, and these meetings are a great way to stay up to date on your child’s education and ask questions of our dedicated team of professionals.

We appreciate our families for checking symptoms, keeping children home when they are sick and following quarantining measures to help us provide a safe learning environment. Thank you for entrusting us with your children and doing your due diligence so that we can provide in-person learning for our students.

During this challenging school year, we want to share a special thank you to our Virtual Vikings families, who have continued to partner with us for their child’s education. We understand that virtual education can be much different than the traditional in-person experience that our students and families are accustom to, but our virtual families have shown a level of grace, cooperation and support that does not go unnoticed. We look forward to enhancing this program and continuing to offer a variety of options to Niles students. 

With the 2021-22 school year on the horizon and kindergarten enrollment open, we turn to the class of 2033 and their families. We look forward to welcoming you to the start of your academic careers as Vikings. The family-school relationship starts as soon as your child enrolls, and we are making the enrollment process as easy as ever. To that end, we are hosting drive-in registration and have resources online to help you enroll your child. Additionally, the district is developing a series of videos with key information surrounding our kindergarten program. We look forward to the many new family-school relationships that we build with the class of 2033 and for years to come. Families looking for more information on Niles Community Schools should visit our website at

Schools are at the heart of the community and our heart beats strongly because of the bonds formed between the district and the Niles-area families we are privileged to serve. Together, we can provide the support necessary for children to exceed, academically, socially and emotionally. If there is anything that we can do to support your child and your family, please do not hesitate to reach out to a teacher, staff member or administrator. As always, thank you and Go Vikes!


Dr. Dan Applegate is the superintendent of Niles Community Schools.