Start the school year right by creating a fact sheet for your child's school staff
Hit the Ground Running
A new school year is upon us and that can bring some anxiety about how your child will do this year. There will likely be new staff members, support staff, and teachers working with your child, so how can you get a head start on having the new people get to know your child? All new staff members working with your child should have read through your child's IEP before school starts, but it is a good idea to make a one or two page fact sheet that highlights the most important things you want an educator to know about your child. This is also an easy way to open communication with staff in order to advocate for your child more effectively.
What to Include
A one page student fact sheet doesn't have to be complicated. Some possible information can include:
Child's name, grade, age, birthday
Parent name(s) and contact information
Strengths, interests, hobbies, or favorite activities
Social skills you're working on
Learning style (hands-on, visual, auditory, etc.)
Reinforcers and motivators
Summary of goals
Strategies for behavior supports
Keep it Simple
A fact sheet doesn't need to be complicated, and you definitely don't need to recreate the wheel. If you don't know where to start, try out the free templates on the Resources page in the Parent Resources and Information folder.
Or Write a Letter Instead
If you want to provide more information than a one pager, try writing a letter. Just remember that the beginning of the school year is hectic for educators and you probably won't get them to read a novella about your child, so keep it short and to the point. Remember that this can serve as a quick reference guide to help make those first few weeks a bit smoother.
Here are some other ideas:
Older students can fill out this form with your help
Write a letter to the child's teacher
Use this template to organize your thoughts
No matter what template you choose, make it personalized and easy to read. It's also a good idea to have your child help you decide what to include. For smaller children, you can even include a little drawing to give to the teacher.