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FAQ: “How can I best advocate for my child at school?”

by Elysa Tülek
August 10, 2021
Categories: Education

Here are CFCR’s top six tips on how to best advocate for your child at school:

1. Put each communication in writing

As much as possible, put your communication to the school in writing, especially if you are requesting a meeting or services. Keep a copy of the letter, email, or note for your own records. This way, you have documentation of your requests and the responses you have received.

2. Keep your child’s education records in one place

This includes report cards, letters from the school, suspension notices, IEPs, evaluations, and other school-related documents. Create a folder in your email account to keep all school-related email communication together.

3. Schedule meetings with the school

The first step to resolving any conflicts with school staff is to schedule a meeting to talk through concerns. You should ask questions and take notes. As much as possible, try to stay calm and rational during the meeting.

4. Bring someone with you to important meetings

This person can be anyone who helps you to feel supported, such as a friend, relative, your student’s service provider, or advocate. Typically, there are several school employees present at meetings, and having someone to help you advocate may make you feel more comfortable and keep the meeting focused and productive.

5. Keep up to date with your child’s progress in school

Most school systems now have a website and/or smart phone app that allow you to see your child’s grades, attendance, and assignments. Check this resource regularly and follow up with your child’s teachers about your questions and/or concerns.

6. Get to know your child’s teachers

Teachers often know a lot about your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses. Thank them regularly for the work they do to help support your child!

Elysa Tülek

Author

Elysa just recently joined the advancement team at Council for Children's Rights in the summer of 2021. She joins us in beautiful Charlotte, NC after spending the last four years in New York City where she earned her undergraduate degree.