California GEAR UP Resources and Materials Clearinghouse return to the Clearinghouse homepage
college awareness  |  communication & social issues  |  financial aid  |  learning environment  |  school system

Cambiar a Español

I want to feel more comfortable and know generally what is going on in my child's school. What can I do?

The best way to find out what is going on in your child's school is to get involved and regularly communicate with school staff. Here are some key things you can do:

  • Keep a school calendar of activities and events posted at home. A posted school calendar will help keep both you and your child up-to-date and aware of what is going on at school, and it will also give you an opportunity to prepare in advance for school activities and events. This calendar will also help you to identify when and where you may be able to volunteer or get involved at the school. If you did not receive a calendar at the beginning of the school year, be sure to call the school and request one.

  • Read the school newsletters. Many schools issue newsletters throughout the year. Be sure to thoroughly read the newsletter and keep it in a familiar place. The newsletters are usually filled with information about current and upcoming events and activities at the school.

  • Join the school board or a parent club or association. You'll find various parent organizations as well as the school board extremely involved in the key matters facing the school. Contact your school and ask what options are available for parents seeking to get involved.

  • Know your child's school family. Many people within the school can impact your child's learning and academic progress. Participate in or attend as many school functions as possible to familiarize yourself with these important people. Some of the most important individuals involved include teachers, counselors, school social workers, principals, teacher aides, secretaries, and other personnel.

  • Donate time to your child's school. Take part in school events and activities and join organizations when you can. Some options include fundraisers, festivals, tutoring, discussions, and workshops, or you can even escort students on a field trip. Staying active in your child's school will help to keep you informed.

  • Talk to the school secretary. The school secretary is instrumental in the daily functioning of the school. He/she typically manages administrative tasks, school communications, and the school calendar. Because of their level of involvement in general school administration, school secretaries are typically aware of any major developments.

  • Talk to your child's teachers. Teachers are also a very important source of information for parents. Not only do they interact with your child on a daily basis, but they also tend to be involved in or at least aware of a variety of different school events. Be sure to talk with your child's teacher regularly, and explain that you would like to be kept informed about your child's progress and any related school events and/or occurrences.

© Copyright 2009 by California GEAR UP. All rights reserved.