Parents and caregivers play an essential role in every child’s education. So, be an active participant! Asking the right questions to your child’s educators is a great place to start. Use the following questions as a guide to begin a conversation, and make sure that you are supporting your child’s education in the most effective manner possible.
1. How will you communicate with me on a regular basis regarding my child’s progress?
Educators have their own methods and processes for communicating with students’ parents and caregivers. Be proactive about clarifying what that looks like for your child’s educators, and establish an open line of communication early in the school year. Communicating will help you to stay informed about whether or not your child is working at grade level and establish an action plan with your child’s educator if he or she does begin to fall behind.
2. How will my child’s progress toward state standards and other benchmarks of development be measured?
Assessment is a huge issue and focus in education today. Make sure that you understand the role it will play in your child’s classroom. Ask about the subject-specific standards that your student will be evaluated against, how much class time will be dedicated to that preparation, and what methods and tools (such as online practice programs or assessments like the NWEA™ MAP®) will be used. Be sure to ask about other, less tangible subject areas in which your child’s progress will be assessed as well, including social and emotional learning.
3. What programs are in place to ensure that my child is in a safe, caring, and healthy environment while at school?
A significant portion of your child’s day-to-day life takes place at school; make sure that it is happening in a positive setting! Ask about specific policies and initiatives in place at your child’s school regarding discipline, bullying prevention, physical activity, and high-quality nutrition.
4. What is the work environment like for teachers?
A positive work environment and high standards for teachers will equate to a positive environment and high achievement for your student. Ask about specific policies at your child’s school regarding certifications, teaching methods, time for teachers to collaborate with one another, and what kinds of professional development opportunities are offered.
5. How does the school make sure that all students are treated fairly and offered access to the programs they need in order to be successful?
Although this can be a difficult question to ask your child’s educators, ensuring that the school environment is equitable and meets the needs of diverse learners is a necessity. Ask specifically about achievement rates and disciplinary action across genders and races. Also, be sure to ask about what specialty programs are available at your child’s school, including ELL and special education services, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) initiatives, and offerings for advanced students, like gifted and talented curricula, AP® classes, or IB® programs.
By asking the right questions, parents and caregivers can help play active and positive roles in their child’s educations. To learn more about what you can do to help your child succeed academically, check out this guide recently released by the U.S. Department of Education.
Want to learn more about how Edmentum’s online learning solutions provide parents and caregivers with insight into their child’s studies? Check our guide to Parent Engagement!
MAP® is a registered trademark of Northwest Evaluation Association.
AP®is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this [product]/[site].
IB® is a registered trademarks of the International Baccalaureate Organization.