Hepworth School Parent Group

Ideas to support you, as you support your child's learning
Brought to you by your Parent Involvement Committee (PIC)

Solving Problems at School
(Excerpt from: "The Parent Inclusion Manual", 2009. People for Education)

Sometimes you need to talk to a teacher about schoolwork, your child's relationship with another student or your child's special needs. But the system can sometimes be confusing or intimidating. Who should you talk to if you have a question or problem? Here are some tips:

First, talk to your child

  • Ask your child questions to help you gather information. Try using open-ended questions, such as "What do you find difficult about ...?" "Tell me what happened..."
  • Listen to what he or she says and ask more questions.

Next, talk to your child's teacher or the school's guidance counsellor

  • If you want to talk to the teacher on the phone or meet with the teacher in person, you can call the school office, leave a message and the teacher will call you back.
  • Tell the teacher about your concerns and how your child feels. Try using comments like "My child told me that..."
  • Ask lots of questions to help you understand school policies and procedures.
  • Listen to the teacher's point of view and suggestions. Talk about what you and the teacher will do so your child gets the same message from both of you.
  • If your school has a guidance counsellor, he or she can give you information about the rest of your child's courses and advice about how to solve social or educational problems.
  • Take time to think about what the teacher has said; you don't have to decide anything right away. Agree to talk again to see if the solution is working.

If you need to, talk to the principal or vice-principal
If the teacher is not able to help, you should speak with the principal or vice-principal. They may be able to help directly or involve other teachers or other staff at your school.

Talk to the school superintendent or your trustee
If the problem still isn't solved, you can contact the school superintendent or your school trustee for assistance. The school secretary or principal can tell you how to contact the superintendent or trustee or you can go to your school board's website to find the information.

Remember to:

  • Be informed: Find out about your school's policies -see the first link below for Bluewater DSB's list.
  • Attend all regular parent-teacher interviews and events as well as any meetings about your child that the school invites you to (e.g. special education, IEP). It is easier to solve problems if you and the teacher have already met.
  • If your problem can't be easily solved, keep written notes about important meetings and conversations.
  • Concerns about our children can be upsetting. Try to stay calm. Focus on finding a solution.

For more information, check out these useful links:

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