Parents are children's first teachers; the impact of a stimulating, language-rich home environment on children's literacy development is well-established. Parents' involvement in children's education begins at birth. Fortunately, the most instinctive and pleasurable forms of interaction with babies, toddlers, and young children all nurture their eventual development as readers: talking to them; posing questions and answering theirs; playing games; visiting parks, libraries, and museums; sharing jokes; telling stories; and reading (and rereading!) favorite books aloud. Use the links on the left navigation bar to find more information and resources about reading to and with your child.
Once children are in school, parents should get to know their children's teachers, learn about curriculum, and monitor and support children's progress in the following ways:
- Attend Back-to-School Night. Dates for each grade and school are published on the district calendar and Web site. Teachers share important information about curriculum, assessments, field trips, grading practices, and preferred modes of communication. Parents unable to attend should contact teachers for handouts and/or archived presentations and let teachers know the best ways and times to reach them.
- Participate actively in parent conferences. Elementary parent conferences are scheduled twice a year, in fall and spring. These are important opportunities to discuss your child's progress with his/her teacher. Expect to review assessment data and see samples of your child's work.
- Read Achievement Reports carefully. Parents receive Achievement Reports in January and June, which document student progress in each academic content area and contain an overall narrative. Parents should contact their child's teacher with follow-up questions, including the specific ways they can support their child's progress at home.
- Read the school's weekly newsletter(s). At each elementary school, there are school and PTA newsletters that are posted on each school's website. At the middle and high schools, parents should subscribe to the weekly PTA e-newsletters, HMXpress and Tiger Bytes, by contacting the PTA. The Special Education PTA publishes Special EDition and SEPTA E-News, both of which are posted on the SEPTA website.
- Join Parent/Teacher Association(s). Attend monthly meetings and/or read minutes posted on the PTA's web page above.
- Attend parent coffees and curriculum presentations advertised in school newsletters. Some, such as Orientation to Kindergarten, HMX, and MHS, are annual events; others such as MHS Coffee and Conversation are regularly-scheduled venues for dialogue with administrators and teachers; and still others are scheduled throughout the year to provide information about current district initiatives.
- Talk to your child frequently! Engage him/her in conversation (not interrogation) about his/her schoolwork, activities, and peer interactions. Be fully present; make sure that for at least a few minutes each day, you're both unplugged and tuned in to each other.
- Be proactive. If you have questions and/or concerns about your child's academic, behavioral, or social/emotional development, reach out to his/her teacher, school psychologist, administrator, or other appropriate personnel. Share your observations from home.
Parent Notification in Response to Intervention
All of the above means will help parents monitor their children's progress and communicate effectively with teachers. While it is expected that schools involve parents and keep them informed about students' progress, Response to Intervention includes specific parent notification requirements. Specifically, parents must be notified in writing if their child needs an intervention beyond those that are provided to all students in the Tier 1 classroom. Notification must describe the amount and kind of data the school will collect to monitor students' progress, the nature of the intervention the student will receive, and parents' right to request an evaluation for special education services. Parents have the right to initiate a referral to the District’s Committee on Special Education at any time. However, in deciding whether and when to do so, parents may wish to consider that the information obtained in the RTI process can be very valuable in determining whether their child has an educational disability and, if so, the types of supports that would be helpful in addressing such disability.
In Mamaroneck, teachers keep parents apprised of students' ongoing progress through formal (parent conferences, Achievement Reports) and informal means. To address learning differences and/or deficits in Tier 1, the teacher differentiates and targets his/her teaching through structures such as guided reading and individual conferences. S/he collects data on the effectiveness of Tier 1 interventions. If need be, s/he convenes a case conference to seek input from colleagues on additional interventions. If it is determined that a child will receive Tier 2 or Tier 3 services in addition to Tier 1 classroom instruction, parents will be notified in writing. If a meeting of the Instructional Support Team (IST) is convened, parents are informed and should attend. See Case Conference and IST, Tier 2 and Tier 3.