Establish A Good Relationship With Your Child’s School

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I believe that parents are a child’s first teacher.  Most parents know their children better than anyone else.  When parents share information with educators that helps them understand the student, they are helping their child get a better education.  Building and maintaining a good relationship with your child’s school might be one of the most important ways to show that you value and support child’s education.

Communicating with school staff and getting involved in the school environment are great ways to establish strong relationships.  Efforts that worked to build relationships in elementary school (like giving cards or gifts or donating supplies to the classroom) aren’t very effective in high school.  The high school is larger and your child will have more than one teacher and class.  Because of this, it is important to build good relationships before something goes wrong.  Here’s how:

Recommendations for parents of high school students:

  • Get to know the gatekeeper — your child’s guidance counselor
  • Connect with your child’s subject teachers and homeroom teacher
  • Ensure that the school knows how to contact you and which method of contact you prefer (email, note, telephone call)
  • Attend “back to school” nights and other school information sessions (I recommend students attend with parents)
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences prepared and with a positive attitude (I recommend students attend with parents)
  • Be sure that the school is aware of your willingness to help and availability to get involved
  • Stay informed about what’s going on at school by reading school notes, emails, visiting the school’s website and paying attention to the school’s outside notice board
  • Be aware of the school calendar – holidays, early dismissal days, test dates, progress report and report card distribution
  • Create a home environment that supports education – discuss school day and school work, discuss expectations for graduation and plans for life after graduation, ensure that your child has the school supplies needed to do well

 

Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox provides youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic enrichment opportunities to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.

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