How to Support Your Child's Education
Every family has hopes and dreams for their children and wants them to succeed in school. The Ken-Ton School District firmly believes that the involvement of families is an essential component of the educational process. Schools and families must be equal partners in order for students to achieve their full potential. Being involved in your child’s education is key to their academic and social-emotional success. Research consistently shows that engaged families have students with better grades and fewer disciplinary problems at school. All family members have the capacity to support a child’s education. Parents, step-parents, guardians, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, caregivers, neighbors, and other adults in your child’s life can all play a pivotal role in a child’s success.
Important Meetings & Events For Families to Attend
What is Open House and why should I attend?
Open House takes place at the beginning of the school year. It is a great opportunity for families to visit their child’s school, explore the learning environment, ask questions, and meet teachers, staff, and administrators. Families learn about the curriculum, schedule, grading, classwork, homework, student opportunities, and much more.
What are Parent/Teacher Conferences and why should I attend?
A parent/teacher conference is a meeting between a child’s teachers and family members. These take place at school in the afternoon or early evening, typically 1-3 times per year, and usually last approximately 10-30 minutes. Conferences focus on learning as well as your child's behavioral and social development. You will receive feedback about your child's progress. It is a great opportunity to have time with your child’s teacher(s) and learn about how they are performing as well as areas of strength and potential improvement. This allows you to provide additional support at home.
What are CSE or 504 meetings and why should I attend?
CSE (Committee on Special Education) meetings take place for students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). An IEP determines how a student's special needs will be met in the educational environment, such as through the classroom structure or ancillary services including speech, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. A 504 Plan meeting is similar for students with special needs who are eligible to receive special accommodations in order to succeed in the school or classroom environment. Families play a crucial role in CSE and 504 meetings, which typically also include classroom teachers, special education teachers, service providers, and special education department administrators, so it is very important that they attend.
How to Maximize School/Home Communication:
- Make sure you have access to your Infinite Campus Parent Portal Account. Visit www.ktufsd.org/ParentPortal for information on how to access and set up your account.
- Always make sure your contact information is up-to-date. You can do this in Parent Portal or by contacting ICPortal@ktufsd.org
- Get to know your child’s teacher(s) and stay in touch. You can find contact information for all staff on our website at www.ktufsd.org/StaffDirectory or call your child’s school.
- Check your child’s report cards. These are posted in Parent Portal at the end of every trimester (for elementary and Big Picture students) and quarterly marking period (for middle/high school students).
- Attend Open House and Parent/Teacher Conferences. The dates for these are noted on the district calendar, which you can find at www.ktufsd.org/calendar. Also attend Committee on Special Education (CSE) and 504 meetings (if applicable). These are scheduled individually through the district.
- Keep up-to-date on important school/district occasions and events. You can find online and Google calendars at www.ktufsd.org/calendar.
How to Get Involved in School & District Decision Making:
- PTAs/HSAs: Each school has an active Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) or Home/School Association (HSA). These groups facilitate opportunities for students and meet on a regular basis with building administrators to affect positive change in school. The district-wide Special Education Parent/Teacher Organization (SEPTO) also serves parents/families of children with special needs. You can find more information about these groups at www.ktufsd.org/families.
- Parent Cabinet: PTAs, HSAs, and SEPTO all send representatives to the Superintendent’s Parent Cabinet, which meets quarterly.
- Shared Decision Making Teams (SDMT): Each school has an SDMT which includes teachers, support staff, administrators, families, and other stakeholder representatives. These groups play a key role in school improvement, planning, and decision making.
- Committees & Focus Groups: Schools and district departments periodically facilitate opportunities to become involved in various committees, sub-committees, task forces, focus groups, and similar stakeholder groups, which play an important role in school and district planning. Contact your child's school for more information.
- Other Opportunities: There are many other ways families can get involved. You can attend Board of Education meetings, public hearings, and community forums or get involved in the annual district budget development process. You can also participate in surveys, connect with the school and district on social media, and take advantage of volunteer opportunities.
Support Your Child's Educational Development at Home:
- Ensure your child comes to school ready to learn each day. This is the most important thing families can do to ensure their child’s success. Make sure they:
- Get a good night’s rest
- Have all the supplies they need (please call the school if you need help acquiring supplies)
- Eat a nutritious breakfast/lunch each day (be sure to learn about our breakfast and lunch program, which is free for many families, by visiting www.ktufsd.org/FoodService)
- Engage with your child each day after school. Ask them questions such as, “What did you learn?” “What was your favorite/least favorite part of the day?”
- Limit screen time, including smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, TVs, and computers.
- Help your child complete his or her homework each day and develop good study habits.
- Reach out to the teacher or school for academic support if needed.
- Take advantage of the many resources available through the school and district to support your child’s social-emotional health and wellness. This includes the school counselor, psychologist, social worker, as well as the district’s Family Support Center. Learn more about the Family Support Center at www.ktufsd.org/FSC.