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Q & A: with the school year beginning, what can I do to ensure my child is successful?

Every stakeholder, from policymakers to parents, is responsible for student achievement. As their children's first teachers, parents in particular play a critical role in children's learning. According to a U.S. Department of Education study, when teachers reported high levels of outreach to parents of low-achieving third-graders, two-year growth rates for student test scores were much higher (reading: 50 percent; math: 40 percent) than when teachers reported low levels of outreach. Here are some tips to help you support your child.

* Speak with your child about school. Talk to your child about the importance of school. Ask him or her about teachers, assignments, friends and activities.

* Establish a line of communication with school staff. Keep in touch with teachers and guidance counselors by scheduling periodic meetings or corresponding regularly to discuss academic expectations and your child's progress in meeting those expectations.

* Examine the school's report card. The No Child Left Behind Act requires that schools and districts provide "report cards" or ongoing information on student progress. These report cards also show how your child's school is doing compared to others in the district.

* Help with homework. Review assignments so that you will know in which subjects your child is excelling, needs help or lacks enthusiasm for what is being taught. Ask your child's teachers if classroom and homework assignments are posted on the school's Web site.

* Attend school functions. Participate in events such as open houses and parent-teacher conferences. Find out about volunteer opportunities and how you can become involved in school improvement efforts. Join or start a parent support network.

For more information and resources to help your child succeed in school, visit www.ed.gov and click on "Parents."
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Publication:The Achiever
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:281
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