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When we think back to school prep, we think of new backpacks, crayons, and endless new pencils. Children are full of excitement and nerves. Teachers are eagerly awaiting seeing their students for the first time. Parents also have mixed emotions, but parents of students with learning differences or IEPs have additional considerations.

Here are some things for parents to consider before the first day or before we get too far into the school year:

  • Organize all of your student’s paperwork. School policies, handbooks, IEPs, school calendars, etc. Whether online or paper copy, know where it is so it can easily be accessed throughout the year.
  • If your child has an IEP, read it over. Make sure any services that are required are planned for.
  • If your child has a 504, ensure any agreed-upon accommodations are in place.

Review IEP/504/assessment documents with your child’s current needs and abilities in mind. Should there be any observed regression in their existing skills or behaviors, share them with the IEP team. Conversely, if your child was enrolled in an intervention program and has made academic gains over the summer, communicate this information to your child’s teacher and IEP team members.

Communication is key at the beginning and throughout the year. Reaching out to your child’s teacher and any service providers right at the beginning of the year is helpful. During this conversation, set up a communication plan. A communication plan will ensure you won’t be surprised during parent-teacher conferences or report card time.

The beginning of the year brings all kinds of jitters for everyone – but taking just a few moments to prep will get your children and families set up for a successful year.


Professional Development Opportunities

Structured Literacy: The Science of Reading for All Readers (1.5 CTLE Hours)
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 10th, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Cost: $25

In this 90-minute session, participants will learn students’ skills to become skilled readers, including practical ways to implement these evidence-based methods in the classroom.

This session is ideal for teachers of K-2 students and any teacher with struggling readers in their classroom. Parents can also benefit by learning literacy-based terminology and strategies for support at home.

Register here: Structured Literacy: The Science of Reading for All Readers


Prescriptive Instruction: Using Assessments Strategically (1.5 CTLE Hours)
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 24th, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Cost: $25

If a child struggles with phonics, is the issue really phonics – or do we need to look back at their phonemic awareness skills? If a student can’t comprehend, is it truly a comprehension issue, or do they struggle with word recognition or vocabulary? This 90-minute session looks deeply at how to use assessment to get to the root cause of our readers’ struggles to be able to provide them with targeted instruction that helps them soar. We’ll also talk about effective small grouping and how to support our secondary students.

This session is ideal for parents, teachers, administrators, tutors, and anyone who wants to give students the most effective support in their literacy acquisition.

Register here:  Prescriptive Instruction: Using Assessments Strategically


What about Writing? (1.5 CTLE Hours)
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 14th, 6:30 -8:00  p.m.
Cost: $25

Do your children struggle to transfer their reading skills into their writing? Do you struggle to fit writing lessons into an already-packed literacy block as a teacher? Parents, do you struggle to get your child to sit down and start an essay or writing piece? In this 90-minute session, we’ll explore the three main skills required for students to be effective writers and how to develop these skills in an already full day (both in school and at home!)

Register here: What about Writing?


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