Here are some tips and suggestions to start the school year off on the right foot:
1. Review your child’s current IEP
The IEP is the foundation of your child's educational program, so it's important that you have a clear understanding of it. Take the time to review your child’s IEP before the school year begins to make sure it still ‘fulfills’ the needs of your child. If you are unsure, contact the school and ask for a TEAM Meeting to discuss how the child has progressed and/or regressed since the writing of the IEP. Be sure that you mark on the calendar when the IEP expires and if your child is up for re-evaluation this year so that you can plan ahead and be prepared.
2. Set up routines
With some children, just talking about the upcoming year and changes can help reduce some of that back-to-school anxiety! While other children, they would benefit from a clearly established routine to help alleviate their anxiety. You can even begin practicing your new schedule, focusing on morning and evening routines, and begin implementing them well in advance of the first day of school.
3. Introduce yourself
Make sure you introduce yourself to each individual who will be working with your child and not just the classroom teacher – the aide, speech/language, OT/PT, job coaches etc. Share with each individual, a “3-Minute” overview of your child. What are the child’s strengths, likes, positives? What are some interventions that work with your child? Share your contact information and willingness to be a partner and support in your child’s success in school. Be involved in school events such as Open House, Fundraiser/Community events, and parent-teacher conferences to help you and your child get a feel for the school and meet the teachers, other staff, students, and families.
4. Start a communication log
Keeping track of all phone calls, e-mails, notes home, meetings, and conferences is important. Create a "communication log" for yourself in a notebook that is easily accessible. Be sure to note the dates, times, and nature of the communications you have.
Also ask the teacher how they usually communicate with families. Do they send home a log (how frequently)? Do they send out weekly emails? Find out what they are able to do and establish a clear request for that to happen regarding your child. Remember, teachers are busy so they cannot report on everything. You should expect highlights, summaries and when appropriate concerns.
Contact Attorney Curran to discuss any school related issues your child may have.
E.M. Curran & Associates LLC