Contributing to your Child’s Team
As a parent, you play an important role in ensuring that your child has a successful educational experience. Being a strong advocate for your child includes being an informed, contributing member of your child’s team.
You can actively support and participate in your child’s school experiences in ways such as the following:
- Participate in decisions that affect your child’s education.
- Let the teacher(s) know when you respectfully disagree and ask to discuss issues as they arise.
- Give your informed, written consent for any needed assessments of your child.
- Be fully informed of school/division policies and practices.
- Share your preferences regarding your child’s placement and be part of a discussion about options in your school/division.
- Obtain information on your child’s learning and growth from teachers and others on your child’s team.
- Review reports on your child’s progress with the teacher at regular intervals throughout the school year.
- Participate in the development of your child’s individual education plan (IEP). When working as a team, all members participate in making decisions and share information with each other.
As a parent, you may want to share:
- current medical information about your child
- successful learning and behaviour techniques that you are using at home
- changes in the home setting that might cause emotional reactions
- past school experiences
- ongoing goals for your child that you are supporting at home Sharing relevant information with your child’s teacher can have a positive effect on your child’s learning experience.
Getting to Know Your Child’s School
One of the most important ways of building an effective team is to establish positive working relationships with your child’s teachers and other school staff.
You can make meaningful connections in a variety of ways:
- Get to know the staff early in the school year and ensure there is ongoing communication.
- Drop by the school at the beginning or end of a day to introduce yourself.
- Call the school to find out the best time to have a brief conversation with the teacher.
- Welcome parent conferences as an important opportunity to exchange information and to work together.
- Get to know your school principal. Under The Public Schools Act, the principal is responsible for the school as a whole. He or she can be a source of information and is an important member of your child’s team.