I send home a contact information sheet at the beginning of the year asking for email addresses if they have them. I also have a section where parents can check whether they want to receive paper copies or email copies of things that I send home. I send home classroom newsletters every other week with information about what has been going on in our classroom, upcoming events, etc.
I also start out the year by making positive phone calls to each child's family. It makes it a lot easier to call them when there is a problem because we have already established that line of communication. Besides classroom newsletters, I will email reminders about upcoming field trips, assemblies, projects/homework, etc.
Home-school communication is such an important part of a teachers job! There are many ways to communicate with your student's parents-in person, email, phone calls, websites, and social media (Twitter, etc.). I prefer email. For me, it's the fastest and easiest way to communicate with parents. If a parent sends me a long email that requires me to tactically respond, I like having the time throughout the day to respond with the right words to say. It's also a great way to keep documentation on parents/students needing some extra attention. Teachers in the next grade level really appreciate the documentation and it gives them a great heads-up! For quick questions like "when is the fundraiser money due?" email is perfect! Of course, I always like to visit with my parents at dismissal, which is a great way to build relationships. At my school, we are required to do a certain amount of phone calls each quarter. I like to make a positive phone call home for each student at the beginning of the year. If I know that I've made the effort to build a relationship, the negative phone calls are alot easier. When I do have to make a negative phone call, I always start the conversation with a few positive comments, then I ease into the issue at school and the parent and I do some problem solving together over the phone.
As far as notifications about upcoming assignments, important dates, etc. I send home a weekly newsletter and post these on my classroom website.
Best of luck with communication with your parents this year!
Amanda Laytham-2nd Grade Teacher