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Communicating with School Personnel

​​​​This information is included in our Guide to Back to School. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

A variety of factors may lead to a situation where a student is having behavioral or academic problems at school. Communication and cooperation between parents and the school are the keys to effectively resolving problems and getting the student back on track. In some cases, however, parents may not know how to advocate for their child or obtain necessary support, information or resources.

Here some key points for effective communication with school personnel when you must address your child's educational/behavioral needs:

  • Identify the appropriate school staff member (teacher, counselor, administrator, etc.) you should talk to and schedule a face-to-face meeting at a time that is convenient for everyone.
  • Prepare for a meeting or discussion with school personnel by writing down what you want to say and questions you would like to have answered.
  • Clearly state your concerns in a positive manner that indicates you want to work with school personnel to find a solution that is agreeable to everyone.
  • Stay calm and positive throughout the conversation. Avoid blaming or becoming defensive.
  • Ask the school representative to clarify any language used by educators that you might not understand.
  • Thank the representative for working with you to meet the educational/behavioral needs of your child.
  • Schedule a follow-up meeting or make a follow-up phone call, if necessary.

Taking a positive, "teamwork" approach to resolving your student's school problems can create relationships with school personnel that can be beneficial in the future and give your child the best chance for success.