A friend shared this idea with me a couple of years ago and I love it. She sends home a paper titled "1st Homework Assignment" and she asks parents to email her the answers to several questions about their child. This way, she already has their email in her address book and she doesn't have to enter it in manually.
I've been doing this for several years now and it works like a charm. One thing I have noticed is that parents don't really read the assignment and instead of emailing you the answers, they will send the completed form back with their child. I don't really mind, because at least they put their email address on the form and I have it for my records.
Anyway, I print all these emails out (or the completed form) and they go into my CYA folder that I talked about here.
Anyway, here is what my 1st HS assignment looks like.
First Homework Assignment
Parents and Guardians,
I am excited to have your child in my Algebra I class this year. Your child’s first assignment is really an assignment for you. Please send an email to me at *********** with the answers to the following questions. If you don’t have access to email, please just fill out this form and return it with your child.
1. My child’s name is ________________
2. My child is in _________ period.
3. My name is___________________________________
4. Relationship to student_____________________________________
6. How would you like to be contacted between the hours of 7:30 and 5:00? ________________________________________________________
7. Email address_____________________________________________
8. Will you be using Parent Connect to check your child’s grades and attendance?
9. Does your student have any special needs in the classroom you would like me to be aware of? (seating preferences, health issues, difficulties in learning math, etc)