1. Request to meet with your child’s teacher. This is the best time as teachers and administrators should be recharged and not so busy and overwhelmed with other issues.
When Parents meet with their child’s teacher face-to-face, it makes a huge difference. Teachers begin to pair the child with an actual parent. I know that sounds silly, however it’s true! When parents continue to communicate with their child’s teacher, teachers tend to think twice about what they say to your child, in some cases how they grade your child, and become more open to providing you and your child with extra/helpful resources.
Parents gain a better sense of what goes on in the classroom, teacher expectations, the classroom format, and how that particular teacher teaches. Example is s/he organized in their thoughts when talking with you, are they listening to your concerns and responding in a way that indicates so, are they responding with helpful information or just repeating something you’ve heard over and over again? Parents often discover just why their child is not doing so well by simply meeting and listening to the teacher (and watching their actions)! I find many parents suddenly understand why their child “wasn’t passing” or performing to their abilities. Remember not all teachers should be teaching.
2. Request an IEP Meeting (if on an IEP). This is a kind way of saying, “Okay, as a parent I know what each team member should be doing with/for my child and I will hold you accountable”. It will help to establish exactly where and what everyone is to do, what goals were met last school year, what goals they will begin working on for this school year, and what needs to be tweaked, changed or added to the IEP. It will also help to determine if any additional accommodations & modifications are needed.
3. When submitting documents to the school (i.e. medical, neuropsychological evaluations, therapeutic evaluations, psychological-educational evaluations, etc.) never share them with the school until you have reviewed the entiredocument and agree to all contents within that document. [NOTE: When parents submit reports before reviewing them and prior to the appropriate changes, the school can and will use it against you and to their advantage!] If there are components you disagree with you can request to have that part taken out of the report, request to have it changed, or request the evaluator to reword it accordingly.
4. Volunteer as much as possible. This is just another way to get involved, observe and be seen.
5. Conduct classroom observations. I cannot express how important this is. If your child is not progressing like s/he should; schedule a classroom observation or just take advantage of the school’s “open door policy”. Make sure to have a notebook and pen with you.
6. Request a copy of your child’s educational files. Click here for a Sample Request Form.