For Parents

Studies show all of the following:

1. Students whose families are involved in their learning earn better grades, enroll in higher level programs, have higher graduation rates, and are more likely to enroll in college.

2. When families take an active interest in what students are learning, students display more positive attitudes toward school and behave better.

3. Children do best if parents can play a variety of roles in their learning: helping at home, volunteering at school, planning their child’s future, etc.

4. Middle school and high school students whose families remain involved in these ways make better transitions, maintain the quality of their work, and develop realistic plans for the future.

You are your child’s first teacher. I would love to hear about your child’s strengths, interests, and needs from you. If you have any interest in volunteering in your child’s class or another, I’d love to have assistance with tutoring or clerical duties. If your career relates to English in some way, you could come in to share with the students.

Here is what you can do to help:

1. Make sure your child reads a book of their choice for twenty minutes every day. This is the regular homework for U.S. Literature.

2. Volunteer to read and respond to their writing. Be sure to tell them what you like as well as what needs more detail. They will keep their assignments on GoogleDocs so they will always have access to them on the Internet.

3. Read the same book as your child or share what you are reading with your child, including interesting articles, web pages, etc.

4. Discuss how writing is important in your life, how you use it for your job, etc.

5. Come in to give a book talk. This would be just a couple minutes sharing some of your favorite reads.

6. Help them study for vocabulary quizzes.

On Grading:

1. Grades are broken down into targets to help students set goals and help me focus my teaching. For example, you may see grades for “ideas” and “word choices” and wonder what assignment connects to these grades. The category heading lets you know the assignment. In this case it might be “American Dream Paper.” This way, we will know if a student’s ideas are solid but the wording of the ideas needs to be improved. Late penalties are also graded separately as punctuality grades.

2. All major papers, tests, etc. must be submitted in order for a student to receive a trimester or midterm grade. If you see notes about missing work on the grade, it means the student has not completed the required work and must come in to do so.

3. All major papers, tests, etc. may be revised for up to full credit if additional tutoring or review work is completed with me. All students may reach their grade goals.

4. If the independent reading grade is lower than you would like, have your teen read for more time at home and bring in a signed note stating how long they read. If another grade is lower than you would like, tell your teen to come in for extra help. You may follow up with me to make sure they do.

5. Check student grades on Power School. They are updated weekly.

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