Parents can play an important role in their child’s education by developing a strong partnership with teachers and support staff. For those who have a child receiving special education services, communicating, and collaborating with your child’s educational team can prove to be a delicate dance.

Here are some strategies we recommend to promote a successful school year for both you and your child.

  • Purchasing a notebook to use as a communication tool with your child’s educational team ensures that home and school are corresponding and collaborating in a consistent and meaningful way. Over time, trends and patterns will develop based on your entries. Data and documentation are essential in making sure that there are less misunderstandings and more collaboration. The customized notebook can protect any data that is documented.
  • Initiating a dialogue between the student and teacher about what they both did over the summer builds a conversation that might not otherwise happen in the classroom. Did your child participate in camp or take a vacation? Did the child meet any milestones during the summer that were challenging in the past? Parents can use the start of the school year to begin building a relationship with teachers and conveying their desire for ongoing communication.
  • Take some time the first few weeks of school to review your child’s current individualized education plan (IEP). Make sure you understand it and verify that the goals are still relevant for the current academic year. When developing a good IEP, the priority is to set the child up for success. Some IEP goals may no longer be as important as they were the prior year and may need to be changed. Making sure the team knows what goals and areas of opportunity should be prioritized for your child is critical to a successful school year. When the goals are set, make sure that the IEP minutes are actually being implemented. Parents should know which teacher is delivering the minutes, how the minutes are being delivered and what data is being collected.
  • It is impossible for a child to be successful if their educational team is not on the same page. In order to create an inclusive experience for the student, collaboration minutes between general education and special education departments should be documented in the IEP. Making sure your child’s general education teacher has a copy of the IEP is an important part of the collaboration process. They should have the opportunity to review the document and communicate any questions they have to the special education teacher.

If you have any questions about educational services or supports for your child, please contact Oak Wealth Advisors