Editor’s note: School starts soon, and how a student does in school depends a lot on his or her parents. We asked area teachers and administrators for their best tips on how parents can help their children have success in school. Their suggestions will run every day through Aug. 27.

Today’s tip: Get to know your child’s teacher, school

It’s critical there be a partnership between the teachers, school and parents, said Auburn Superintendent Katy Grondin. “Your child’s education depends on the partnership we build between home and school.”

Building relationships helps build support and helps the student be successful in school, Grondin said. When teachers and parents know each other and communicate, it promotes understanding. It means the child is hearing the message of the importance of school both at school and home, Grondin said.

Get the relationship started by saying hello in person, make sure your child’s or children’s teachers know who you are “so they can put a face with a name.” Grondin said.

In case they need to reach you, make sure teachers and the school staff have current email addresses, cellphone numbers, work numbers and home numbers.

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Some teachers have classroom e-alerts. They’re collecting parents emails,” Grondin said. “They don’t always send by paper. We’re doing a lot more electronically.”

Parents should stay connected with their children’s teachers and schools. Today there are many ways. Schools have Web pages, Facebook pages, newsletters and PTOs. Check them out regularly to find out what’s expected of your child, and what’s happening in school.

Don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher when you have questions or concerns, Grondin said. Also tell your child’s teacher any reasons why the child may be upset, such as a divorce, a parent losing a job, a family member dying “even a pet dying,” Grondin said. When teachers understand what’s going on they’re better suited to help.

While there are many avenues to find out information or ask questions, “if you feel that you’re still not able to get the information, pick up the telephone and ask,” Grondin said.

— Bonnie Washuk


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