Cal Poly Humboldt

Family-Teacher Relations & Confidentiality

Family-Teacher Relations

Children grow and thrive in the school environment when they see that their parents and teachers respect each other, share information and concerns, and work together as partners. We encourage regular communication through telephone calls,home visits, conferences, social events, parent meetings, newsletters, hand-written messages, and everyday conversations. There is also a message notebook in the cubbie area where family members can leave short messages for teachers at drop off or pick up time if they don’t have a chance to talk in that moment. We also invite parents to come to the classroom to share personal interests, family traditions and celebrations or to work with the children. We do have to schedule these activities in advance in order to ensure that they do not conflict with assignments that must be completed by students working in the Lab. Building positive relationships is at the heart of all we do. We believe that quality communication and confidentiality central to this effort. We keep all information discussed with family members or contained in children’s files confidential. We ask that all members of the CDL community maintain high standards of respectful communication and confidentiality.


Confidentiality is very important to us at the Lab. It is a very busy place where many different people come and go. It is absolutely essential that we maintain the highest standards with regard to confidentiality, for our families,  our children,  our students and ourselves. How we talk about children has a huge impact on them, on how they treat one another, on how they think about themselves and on the behaviors adults elicit from them because of adult expectations and prejudgments. While the effects may be more subtle, the same is true for adults. Children listen to and model what comes out of adults, and we all shape our ideas and behaviors on the basis of what we hear. Confidentiality is not just an issue of insuring that personal information is never shared without explicit permission, it is an issue of being thoughtful and respectful in the way that we talk about one another.

The following guidelines are critically important:

  • All information discussed with family members or contained in children’s files is confidential and will not be shared without specific written consent.
  • Students working in the Lab must never engage in conversations about children or families outside of the confines of teacher meetings in the Lab or in the associated seminar classes.
  • There must not be conversations about specific children, families or teachers while people are in the observation booth (except while it is closed for pre-session meetings). The observation booth is a classroom space that is accessible to the public and therefore is not an appropriate space for private or protected conversation by anyone.
  • Occasionally students are working on observations in pairs and it is necessary for them to compare notes. This must be done without using the child’s name.
  • All observations should be done using pseudonyms.
  • Family members must follow the same guidelines – please never discuss a student, a teacher or a  child other than your own in any public space including the classroom, the loading zone and the observation booth.

These guidelines are established for the safety and integrity of our community. It is important that everyone follow them. If you have any questions about these standards, please feel free to talk with one of the CDL Teachers, the Program Leader or the Faculty Supervisor.