Checklist for Success

Stay Connected

  • Establish effective means of communication with your child’s teacher and the school
  • Communicate regularly with your child’s teacher(s) in person or via phone, email, or notes
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences – If you are unable to attend the scheduled conference:
    • Request a more convenient time
    • Hold the conference over the phone, Skype, Face Time, etc.
  • Read all correspondences from the school
  • Visit the school website for events, newsletters and PTA information
  • Attend school events such as Back to School Night, Learning Nights or PTA sponsored events
  • Inform the teacher/school of any concerns or issues that impact your student
  • Attend or view the School Board Meetings

Support Learning at Home

  • Establish a quiet space and identified time for homework
  • Check homework daily for completion
  • Encourage your child to read
  • Use your child’s interest to motivate learning
  • Visit the library, museums, historical sites or parks to encourage exploration
  • Celebrate positive efforts and accomplishments
  • Limited video and television time
  • Encourage extracurricular activities
  • Support the school’s practices and procedures

Participate

  • Volunteer at the school:
    • In the classroom
    • At school events
    • Complete a project at home
  • Join the PTA
  • Join a school or division committees and councils
  • Attend athletic and cultural events
  • Offer suggestions and/or constructive feedback regarding school-related activities

Support Learning at Home

1. Establish Study Time Norms

  • Designate a quiet space for study time
  • Establish a consistent, daily routine for studying
  • Eliminate distractions –€“ noise. television, siblings or other distractors
  • Set high expectations for student work

2. Generate Discussion

  • Ask your child to tell you two things they learned that day
  • Read a book with your child and engage in a discussion about the theme or likes/dislikes
  • When possible relate life experiences to the curriculum
  • Use discussions and questions to encourage your child’s curiosity

3. Support the School

  • Ask the teacher what your child will be learning that year and how you can support learning at home.
  • Review homework with your child – this will help you identify your child’s strengths and areas for growth
  • Ask the teacher about opportunities for enrichment and/or tutoring to help strengthen skills
  • Reinforce the school’s practices and procedures

4. Use an Agenda

  • Or shared calendar to list homework assignments and completion
  • To plan for assignment due dates
  • For ongoing communicate with the teacher
  • Establish balance –€“ develop a system to prioritize your child’s schoolwork and extracurricular activities

5. Seek Resources to Enhance Learning

  • Attend local cultural/sporting events
  • Learn about local resources (library, recreation center, historic sites) that encourage exploration and expand learning
  • Ask the teacher about online resources which may enrich student learning
  • Seek out volunteer opportunities for your child

Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences

Communication between schools and families effectively support student learning. A teacher may invite you to attend a parent-teacher conference and parents may request a conference at any time during the school year. Successful parent-teacher conferences focus on student learning and collaboration.

Things to Consider:

Stay Focused – Teachers and families want the same thing, student success. The teacher will share student work, test scores, and strategies to help your child. What you share will help you and the teacher identify strengths and opportunities for your child to be a more successful learner.

Be Collaborative – Your input is essential. Sharing information regarding your child’s past experiences, interests outside the classroom, and or personal situations will help the teacher better understand your child’s needs.

Inquire about an Interpreter –€“ An interpreter may be available to attend the conference if English is not your primary language. Interpreters are not always available so it is okay to bring a friend or relative to interpret.

Request a New Time –€“ If the scheduled conference time is inconvenient, it is okay to request a new time. If necessary, discuss with the teacher the possibility of conducting the conference via phone, Skype, or FaceTime.

Tips for a Successful Conference

Preparing for the conference:

  • Discuss the conference with your child; make sure your child understands that the conference is focused on helping him/her be more successful
  • Review work that your child has brought home to give you an idea of how your child is progressing
  • Ask the child for feedback about school and if they have any issues to be discussed at the conference
  • Make a list of questions or concerns to discuss with the teacher

At the conference:

  • Ask the teacher if your child is exhibiting learning or behavior concerns
  • Ask the teacher how you can support your child’s learning at home
  • Ask the teacher how you can help your child build upon their strengths and develop where there is opportunity for growth
  • Ask for clarification if you do not understand information provided by the teacher
  • Stay on task and take notes

After the conference:

  • Discuss the conference with your child
  • If you developed a follow-up plan with the teacher, ask the child for their feedback
  • Follow-up with the teacher regarding the child’s feedback, if necessary
  • Keep in touch with the teacher regarding progress
  • Share the plan with influential family/friends for their support or reinforcement