What kind of things could the school do to help?

Educators can be very creative when they are working to support a student, especially when they work in partnership with families and students to understand what is going on, and what could help. As you are trying to think about what might be getting in the way of your child going to school every day, think about what is expected of them when they get there: being in class, keeping up with homework and classwork, earning credits (for high school students), following school rules, and getting along with other students. Could your child be having a hard time with some of these things? Are there things that could help them do better, and feel better about being in school? Some of the things that schools and families might consider include:

  • Change classes? Review how the student is doing in each class, and make changes to a class schedule, drop a class, add a class, or make time for extra support in some classes;
  • New school? Consider whether a different school with a different kind of program or setting would work better;
  • Extra help? Test retakes? Provide tutoring, extra credit opportunities or test make-ups so the student can catch up;
  • More English language support? Review an English language learner's progress and consider whether additional support is needed;
  • A person to connect with? Think about whether there is someone (or several people) at the school that have, or could build, a close connection with the student to help them feel like they are an important part of the school community;
  • Positive behavior interventions? Build a plan to identify possible triggers, reduce inappropriate behavior, and teach appropriate behaviors;
  • Sports? Music? Robotics? Explore extra-curricular activities or elective classes that would motivate the student to show up to the classes that are harder or less exciting;
  • Reward system? Brainstorm possible “rewards” that the student could work toward with improved attendance;
  • Evaluation for Special Education? Request an evaluation to see if the student has a disability that is getting in the way of learning and may need an IEP or 504 Plan;
  • Work Experience? Find opportunities for the student to try vocational courses or get work experience;
  • Address peer conflicts/bullying/harassment? Agree on a plan to try to resolve a conflict with a friend, or address bullying or harassment;
  • School Climate? Talk about the overall school climate and think of ways to make sure it is welcoming to yours, and all students;
  • Support for the Family? Connect the family with community-based services to help with needs outside the school setting