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Picture of ideas for building community

Community Building Strategies


  • Introduce yourself via welcome postcard, home visit, or phone call
  • Create a digital “get to know you” survey. Include questions specifically for families to answer. Share community-building responses with your

Establish Agreements

  • With students, develop norms that are consistent between your physical and online classrooms

Foster Relationships

  • Be positive
  • Be consistent
  • Be available.
  • Be respectful.
  • Honor individuality
  • Incorporate SEL activities

Scaffold Responsibility

Establish routines and model how to:

  • View feedback from teacher and peers
  • Provide feedback to peers
  • Navigate and use your LMS
  • Turn in work
  • Participate in a discussion forum
  • Be an active participant
  • Advocate for yourself


Start video meeting/class with social time

  • Show and Tell
  • Virtual Spirit Week (hat day, silly glasses, themed dress-up days)
  • Give students opportunities to introduce family members and pets

Provide Opportunities

Provide opportunities for asynchronous participation with:

  • Flipgrid videos
  • Posting photos in your LMS
  • Discussion Forum
  • Instructional videos
  • Pre-recorded PowerPoint presentation

Foster Interaction

Foster Student Interaction:

  • Allow students to see, like and comment on each other’s work
  • Provide opportunities for students to work in small groups
  • Use web tools that encourage interaction
  • Encourage the use of appropriate emojis and/or emoticons


Provide accommodation for student needs:

  • Utilize Universal Design for Learning (UDL) when planning lessons and activities
  • Allow students to use appropriate video and audio features during video meetings
  • Use a translator app
  • Use captioning tools
  • Use Immersive Reader in Microsoft products