As the school year begins, there’s a lot for parents to take care of: Schedules, paperwork and new school supplies top the list.
One thing that’s important not to overlook at this time is communication between you and your child’s school. Good two-way communication is an important part of students’ school success.
Open the Lines of Communication Early
Opening up the lines of communication right at the beginning of the school year can help you, your child and the school team start off strong. Good parent-school communication can lead to:
- A strong parent-teacher partnership with greater understanding
- A sense of community for your child between home and school
- Helping your child meet or exceed their goals for the school year
As part of the Center for School Services at Cincinnati Children’s, I work regularly with both families and schools. Whether you have a child with medical, academic or behavioral needs, the following tips can be helpful for families to begin communication with schools as each new school year starts.
6 Ps of a Successful School Year
- Proactive – If you know your child has academic, behavior or health needs, communicate early with school by phone or email regarding triggers or concerns.
- Plan – Plan ahead for absences. Contact the school team before the start of each new school year. Plan to be flexible with the school team especially early in the school year as they get to know your child.
- Positive – Develop a friendly rapport with your child’s school staff. Introduce yourself at the beginning of the year. Avoid only contacting the school when there is an issue or concern. Be understanding as schools and teachers learn their students.
- Prepared – Do your homework. Consult outside resources and become familiar with your child’s online systems. Sign up for the classroom newsletter. Read the syllabus. Share relevant health information with school ahead of time, such as medication forms, neuropsychological evaluations, etc.
- Professional – Be understanding and courteous as your child’s school works with you to develop a plan that will support your child’s needs.
- Prioritize – Be specific regarding concerns. Collect data and keep records proactively. Create a schedule with your child that addresses their needs that may impact routine expectations prior to school, while at school, and after school.
We know there’s a lot to tackle as school gets underway. We hope these tips help you start the school year off on a positive note!
For more information on how to help your child through school, especially for children with learning, behavioral, or everyday skill concerns, visit understood.org.
Learn more on the podcast
The Cincinnati Children’s Young & Healthy Podcast recently featured members of the Cincinnati Children’s Center for School Services discussing tips to help families have a successful school year. Listen to the full episode to learn more. Find the Young & Healthy podcast in the App Store, on Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.