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What school activities should I attend throughout the year?

In order to know what is going on at your child's school and with his/her academic progress, you should attend as many school activities as possible. Parents typically receive calendars at the beginning of the school year that outline upcoming school events and activities. If you have not received one, contact the school and request one.

There are several events scheduled throughout the year that are particularly important for you to attend. Schools will generally offer a combination of the following events:

  • Parent-Teacher conferences. Parent-teacher conferences are essential and serve to inform you about your child's progress. These conferences allow you to meet one-on-one with teachers to discuss your child's academic performance. Your child's teacher will be able to provide you with an overview and analysis of the areas in which your child may need improvement or additional support. These conferences can also provide you with information about the school and the additional resources that are available to you and your child.

  • Parent nights. Parent nights are designed for parents to get to know the school's staff and facilities. These events will give you a chance to talk less formally to your child's teachers. In addition, you will be able to meet the principal and other staff members who contribute to your child's academic success.

  • Back-to-School nights. Back-to-school nights usually occur at the beginning of the school year. This event is designed to inform parents of any changes at the school and provide important information about upcoming events and activities.

  • Open House nights. Open house nights provide parents with an opportunity to become acquainted with the school and its staff. This event is commonly held near the end of the school year and often serves as an occasion to showcase student work in a particular subject. Parents are typically introduced to key players important to their child's education, including teachers, principals, counselors, administrators, and coordinators of student-support programs.

Other activities at your child's school that you may want to attend include:

  • School board meetings. School board meetings will inform you about the key concerns and pressing matters the school and/or school district is currently faced with. Those who attend can learn more about current legislation, academic priorities, and standards, for example, that can affect your child's academic performance now and in the future. These meetings will also provide you with insight into upcoming events and activities.

  • Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings. The Parent Teacher Association meetings are designed to keep you informed of what is happening at your child's school. If you are interested and have the time, you may want to consider becoming an active member of the PTA. The PTA advocates for your child's school in a variety of ways that include addressing education legislation, assisting with the improvement of school facilities, recruiting volunteers for student-support programs, fundraising, and more. PTA meeting topics of discussion can include school performance, school improvement measures, areas of concern, and upcoming events and activities.

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