Overview: One of the best ways to communicate with parents (even in this technological age), is to send home a newsletter. The frequency at which you send a newsletter out is completely up to you. You can choose to send one home weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. Whichever duration you choose, begin sending your newsletter home at the very start of the school year. I have found that using a template that can be modified weekly is the most useful. A weekly newsletter may be a bit more effort, but you will have peace of mind knowing you have sent important information and reminders out to parents in writing and parents can then be held accountable for reading it.
It is important to be consistent with the frequency at which you send out your newsletter. As parents are "trained" to receive your newsletter on a particular day, they will look forward to it. Many will ask about it if it doesn't make it home. If you send a newsletter out on a Wednesday one week, skip a week and then send one out on a Monday, parents are likely to be confused (and question your organizational skills).
The following is a sample parent newsletter. It organizes the information into two columns. On the first page, the main column offers a message from the teacher. The smaller, side column offers information that will be addressed each week such as what the class is learning in the different subjects, the "specials" or electives schedule, and reminders for the week. The second page offers the same column structure but features a "technology corner" and a place to highlight the student of the week.