Help students and their families lay the foundation for a positive, successful school year.

Free Distance Learning Templates

Back-to-school traditions are an important way to help students and families tap into the opportunities of a new school year. As teachers, we enjoy setting up and decorating our classrooms, organizing new school supplies, or maybe planning a brand-new unit to try teaching this year. We might even be thinking about bringing some new digital tools or media into our classroom instruction.

But back-to-school is also a great time to consider how we communicate with, and support, families during this part of the year that's so pivotal to students' success. To help make this year's back-to-school time a little easier, we've put together a set of customizable templates focused on supporting you, your students, and their families during the transition back to the routines of the school year.

You can use any (or all!) of the templates below and customize them to work for you and your students. Whether you want to set norms and expectations for device use, communicate your class's daily routines, or help families support their students' learning with helpful at-home resources, we've got you covered.

Every school year is a new beginning and a fresh start. We're here for you! Thank you for all you do for your students and their families.


Grades K–5: Digital Learning Pledge

Set a positive culture of digital citizenship from the start with this customizable student agreement. Set expectations for device care, online safety, media use, and more. Offered in English and Spanish.


Grades 6–12: Digital Learning Agreement

Discuss expectations for online communication, privacy and safety, device use, and more with your middle and high school students. Offered in English and Spanish.


Daily Routines

Provide helpful support to students and families as they adjust to the school-year schedule. Use it to outline daily schedules and learning activities, provide any important information parents and caregivers need to know, and check in with how students are feeling each day. Offered in English and Spanish.


Dinner Discussion

Help parents and caregivers stay informed about their student's progress with this customizable short discussion guide. Give families a brief look into what's happening in class, and offer some conversation starters, suggested questions, and class reminders. Offered in English and Spanish.


Devices for Learning

Edit and share this handy guide to make sure families have the information they need about any school-issued devices that students will use for learning. From how to log in to where to get technical support, make sure students and their families can easily get answers when they need them.


FAQ Cheat Sheet for Families

Edit and share this handy FAQ with families at the start of the year. Make sure they know how to contact you, where you post class assignments, and who else they can reach out to for additional support. Plus, the weekly check-in prompt is a nice way to start building relationships with families from day one! Offered in English and Spanish.

Erin Wilkey Oh

Erin’s work focused on supporting students, teachers, and families for over a decade. As content director for family and community engagement at Common Sense, she provided parents and caregivers with practical tips and strategies for managing media and tech at home, and supports teachers in strengthening partnerships with families. Prior to her work with Common Sense, Erin taught public high school students and adult English learners in Kansas City. Her time as a National Writing Project teacher consultant nurtured her passion for student digital creation and media literacy. She has bachelor's degrees in English and secondary education and a master's degree in instructional design and technology. Erin loves to knit, read, hike, and bake. But who has time for hobbies with two young kids? In her free time these days, you'll find her hanging out at playgrounds, the zoo, and the beach with her family.