Knowing who you should contact at your child’s school or district can be very confusing. It can be especially confusing if you are distance-learning or homeschooling. Multiple individuals often hold more than one role that might not be easily identified by their title. At Focus Online, LLC we initiate, monitor, and maintain commmunication with your child’s school and district employees. You might choose to do this task on your own, though. Below is a clear explanation of the roles that exist in most schools, and also when or why you might want to contact them.
If you’re asking…
“Hmmm… Where Do I Start?”
Classroom/ Grade-Level Teacher/ Inclusion Teacher: This is your point of contact. They are fully aware of what is occuring with your child and can foward you to the best person for the fastest result.
Itinerant Teacher: If you are homeschooling and have a child who requires Special Education Services at home, you will have this type of teacher. They are your point of contact for learning and lessons. They are aware of your child’s IEP, but may not know of the other services your child received. You may ask them for the company or district’s point of contact.
Special Education Teacher: This person works hand-in-hand with your child’s classroom teacher.
“I Was Forwarded Here!” or “The Previous Answer Wasn’t Really Helpful.”: Include The Prior Emails As Reference
Specialists: Intervention, Reading, Math, Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, School Counselor: These educators support the Special Education Department, but also may be a support for your child if they are struggling with something in school. Specialists are tremendous resources and can offer great ideas for you to support your child at home!
Grade-Level Lead,Head of Department: This is an important point of contact if you are asking ‘why’ something is happening and the teach cannot give you a clear answer.
For example, if your child’s school reduces the number of hours for Art, speak to the classroom teacher and/or art teacher first. If she cannot give you a direct answer, but this a major concern for you, you can email the Grade-Level Lead or Head of Art and ask for further clarification. In the email, be sure to note that you already spoke to the classroom teacher and that she was as helpful as she could be. That goes a long way in schools!
Nurse: Nurses are angels for many children in schools! If your child has diabetes, has anxiety, or frequent stomach aches, the school nurse will know! Though nurses are not usually included in a parent’s list of school contacts, try to keep them in mind if you are checking up on your child.
“Oops! There’s A Problem With Someone Above”: Include The Prior Emails As Reference
Curriculum Coordinator: This is the person who is in charge of arranging the school’s different curriculum resources. They are aware of the multiple resources the teachers pull from, and can often offer advice on apps the school has chosen to use, or the delivery of lessons (including Math!). They can often clarify what the teacher is doing in class, and why.
For example, if your child is learning the letters of the alphabet in SAT, PIN order (that means not in alphabetical order), a Curriculum Coordinator can explain why the school has selected this method if the classroom teacher cannot explain it clearly.
Head of Special Education/Director of Special Education: This title may also be listed as “Head of Inclusion”. This person will be your point of contact if you want to request an IEP meeting and is considered a department chair. Their secretary will also schedule appointments for testing upon request. There may be someone considered a “Lead” who you can contact prior to the Head of Department, but having their email on hand is helpful. The secretary will most likely be the person to respond.
“Why Doesn’t Anyone Listen to Me?”: Include The Prior Emails As Reference
Assistant Principal: Sometimes below the vice principal
Vice Principal: Usually manages behaviors
“This Is A Safety and Wellness Concern Beyond My Child”: Include The Prior Emails As Reference
Principal: Tip-top for the school.
“I Have Tried EVERYTHING And I Have Proof!”:
Superintendent: Tip-Top for the district
Board of Directors: Tip-Top for a charter school and those who select the superintendent
Special Education Advice:
Specific Special Education Roles And Who To Communicate
Make contact with your district via email after sending your IHIP. Ask for the specific points of contact for the questions you might have. Most districts have an Office of Homeschooling, but smaller districts may not. Remember that the district is not responsible to support your child’s learning when you are homeschooling. They do not offer remedial support or advice on homeschooling, but many districts are helpful if you plan to transition your child back to public school and homeschooling is a short-term choice.
Still need help? We are here!
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