Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

ARD Doctor:  Ten Prescriptions for Healthy School Relationships

01/03/2017 | Published by: Becky Tarwater

Healthy school relationships require active participation and great communication. The following list of 10 “prescriptions” will help make parent-school partnerships more effective for a child’s education.

  1. Reach out to others.

Join your school’s parent-teacher organization. Find a support system of other parents. Use social media to keep up to date. Connect with community agencies and organizations that might be important to your child’s success.

  1.  Be aware of your attitude.

Use “I” language when talking with teachers and administrators. Don’t accuse. Think before you speak. Focus on your child; don’t get caught up in power struggles. Remember that a positive attitude goes a long way toward developing productive relationships with school personnel.

  1. Be an active participant. 

When bringing a problem to the table, provide possible solutions. Work as a team to develop your child’s school plan. Be sure that responsibilities are clearly defined for educators, parents, and your child.

  1. Share knowledge.

Parents are the greatest experts on their children. Be willing to communicate regularly with your child’s school. Share your child’s successes and areas of concern. Let the school know when something occurs that might impact your child’s education. Be open to new ideas from the professionals involved with your child’s education. They also have a wealth of knowledge to share.

  1. Keep accurate records.

Accurate record-keeping is vital to your child’s success. You should have a personal narrative on your child, including a record of your child’s milestones. This information will be a part of any evaluations for your child over the years. Keep copies of agency communications, applications, and phone logs. Keep medical and school records in separate files, with the most recent files in front. Be sure to record all correspondence in a diary or log. These records are considered legal records if they are ever needed.

  1. Be a community builder.

Be a part of the school community. Volunteer in your child's classroom. Assist with fundraising activities. Be part of the solution.

  1. Become educated on the laws.

Learn all about Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Stay up to date on Texas Education Agency (TEA) regulations

  1. Become educated on your child’s disability.

Join disability groups. Attend conferences that feature your child’s disability. Talk with other parents. Share your knowledge with your child’s educators.

  1. Become educated on procedures.

Know the ARD/IEP process, including the ARD agenda. Become knowledgeable on procedural safeguards. Know the process for mediation and due process.

  1. Be a communicator!

Communicate with all those involved in your child’s education, including administrators and educators. Communicate with other parents. Communicate with community agencies involved with your child. Communication makes the difference in the success of your child.

These “prescriptions” can be valuable in developing healthy school relationships.  Please use as directed.

Find more information in the Education and Schools section of this website.

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