The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 helps to ensure that all children receive a high-quality education and holds schools responsible for making sure that all children are learning. The information below is consistent with this important law.
This brochure includes information on things you can do at home and at school to help your child be a more successful student, including tips for parents of students with disabilities.
Every child has the power to succeed in school and in life, and every parent, family member and caregiver can help. The question is: How can we help our children succeed?
We know, for example, that children tend to follow their parents' example. Children watch what we say and do. Parents are truly their children's first teachers, and this role lasts a lifetime. When we show our children that we value education, it gives them a powerful model for success. At home, we can take steps to support our children's education. Also, research shows that when parents and families are involved in their children's schools, the children are more likely to succeed.
What You Can Do at Home
As a parent or caregiver, no one cares more about your child's education than you. Get involved in your child's education at home. Here are simple tips that may be useful to you:
Encourage Your Child to Read. It's the single most important thing you can do to help your child succeed in school. Read aloud to your baby right from the start, and make reading together part of your daily routine.
Encourage Healthy Habits. Research shows that regular sleeping times, good eating habits and physical exercise are critical for student success.
Monitor Homework, TV Viewing, Computer Use and Video Game Playing. Have a special place and regular time for your child to study, and check to see if your child needs help. Set limits on time spent watching TV, using the computer and playing video games.
Encourage Your Child to Be Responsible and to Work on His Own. Help your child choose activities that build knowledge, responsibility and independence, and be aware of his activities after school, in the evenings and on weekends.
Communicate With Your Child. Have daily conversations with your child about his or her school day.
Praise Your Child. Provide consistent, encouraging words to help motivate young children.
Working With Teachers And Schools
Learn everything you can about your child's school. You know your child best and understand her needs. Ask for a school handbook and read it over. Ask the principal and teachers about the school's expectations of your child and how it will prepare your child to succeed in life. Visit the school's Web site for more information. Ask for information in your native language.
Talk with your child's teacher early and often—and start talking right at the beginning of the school year. Contact the teacher immediately if you notice a change in your child's behavior or school performance or if your child doesn't understand an assignment. If you don't understand a school rule or the teacher's assignments, set up a meeting to talk about the issue.
Stay involved in your child's school activities. Attend school events. Go to sports events, back- to-school nights and parent-teacher meetings. Volunteer in your school.
Tips for Parents of Students With Disabilities
When a child is having a reading or language problem, the reason might be simple to understand or it might require extra help. Some children may have a learning disability.
If you think your child may have some kind of learning problem, get help quickly. Talk with your child's teacher or principal. By law, schools must provide special help to children with disabilities.
"We want every young American to be surrounded by caring adults who provide love, advice, encouragement, and who can serve as good role models for children." —Laura Bush
In order to get extra help for your child, several steps might be taken. A team of school officials and you will collect information on your child and complete an evaluation on him. The evaluation must be done in the child's native language.
Next, you will help to decide whether or not your child qualifies for special education and related services. If so, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed for your child. This will explain your child's education program and the special services your child will receive. You should have a copy so you can make sure that the plan is being followed.
Examples of Resources
U.S. Department of Education: www.ed.gov or http://www.ed.gov/espanol/bienvenidos/es/index.html?src=gu or call 1-800-USA-LEARN
School choice: www.ed.gov/nclb/choice
Special Education: www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/osep/index.html?src=mr
Physical Fitness: President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, President's Challenge http://www.fitness.gov/home_pres_chall.htm
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.