Follow these three steps to get your concern resolved:
If your child has a problem at school, your first step is almost always to reach out to your child’s teacher.
Please remember that teachers are busy teaching during the school day, so your best strategies may include:
- Trying to catch up with the teacher before or after school,
- Leaving a message with the school secretary,
- E-mail the teacher or send them a note with your child where you ask them to call you or meet with you.
(If you have a chance to visit your school’s open house make sure you find out the best way to reach each teacher.)
Since your goal is resolving the problem and helping your child, try to be as specific as possible in both stating the problem and identifying the action steps you, your child and the school will take to resolve it. This will allow everyone involved to be clear about the challenges you are facing and the exact steps they need to take to address them.
- Whether you are coming to school for a meeting or having a conversation over the phone, don’t forget to have a note pad handy, so you can write down the main points of your conversation and any solutions you come up with, including what you will do at home, what the teacher will do at school and what your child will be expected to do both at home and in school. Always date and time your records in case you need to use them later.
- During your conversation with the teacher, remember to:
- Be respectful, friendly and open minded. Give the teacher a chance to explain his or her view of the situation.
- Ask the teacher what each of you can do to address the situation.
- If the issue is really emotional, write down your questions and concerns and read from your notes.
- Don’t stop listening if you don’t hear what you want to hear – try to understand what the teacher is trying to communicate and look into the reasoning they provide.
- If you still have concerns after hearing the teacher’s proposal, be candid about your concerns and give the teacher a chance to address them.
- After the conversation:
- Follow up with an e-mail or a note in which you thank the teacher for their support with your child’s education, and outline the main points of your conversation together with the solutions you agreed upon.
- Maintain ongoing communication to exchange information and monitor progress.
If for any reason you are not satisfied with the outcome of your meeting (whether you were unable to reach a satisfactory agreement or because the agreement doesn’t seem to be working), please arrange a meeting with your principal. Follow the same basic principles listed above.
If you feel that no matter how hard you try, you are not getting the support you seek at the school, please contact the Family Engagement Liaison responsible for your school, visit our Parent and Family Resource Center (PFRC) at 440 N. Broad Street, or reach out to the District Call Center and Main Information Center at 215-400-4000.
- Please be specific when communicating your concerns. Explain exactly what you or your child has seen, heard and experienced (or didn’t experience), as well as where and when it happened, who was involved and who witnessed it. (That’s where your note pad comes in handy.)
- Include all the necessary details.
- Whenever possible, provide supporting documentation (meeting dates, times, locations and participants, statements, copies of e-mails etc.) Be clear about the outcome you are trying to achieve for your child.
- Be clear about the outcome you are trying to achieve for your child.
We use a case management approach to resolve parent concerns, acting as a liaison between you and the school. In some cases, we can help schools engage with other resources within the District or in the school community to get the support a parent needs. In other cases, we may be able to provide families with a direct link to the District’s or outside resources, instead of working through their school. Like our schools, we operate within the framework of District’s policies and procedures. In cases when the solution sought by the parent comes in conflict with these policies and procedures, we will help the parent understand why the District is unable to accommodate their request and what other options are available to them in resolving the situation.