Help! My child is struggling! What do I do if my child is struggling?
-Contact your child’s teacher.
-Communicate your child’s interests, strengths and weaknesses.
-Communicate your specific concerns.
-Actively participate with your child’s teacher in problem-solving discussions.
-Suggest strategies and interventions based on what you know works at home.
-Ask for suggestions about what you can do to help.
What resources are available if my child is struggling?
We have varying levels of support, depending on the need of your child. This support system is called Multi-Tiered System of Supports, or MTSS. It allows teachers to quickly identify student needs and the best methods to address them. These can be needs of individual students or groups of students, related to academics, behavior or both. The idea is to get each and every student what he or she requires to be successful.
How does MTSS work?
MTSS has three levels, or tiers, of instruction and support, all aimed at giving teachers a streamlined way to provide the best instruction to all students.
· Tier I includes the instruction and support provided to all children.
· Tier II serves students needing more help. Extra instruction and support often are provided to these children in small groups.
· Tier III is for children who need intense support in order to succeed. Extra instruction and support are provided, often in even smaller groups or one-on-one. The greater your child’s need the more intense is the level of support.
At Tier II regular education teachers work together in grade level teams with academic specialists to provide support. In Tier III in addition to regular education teachers the team may include the school’s instructional coach, special education teacher, ESL teacher, speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, behavioral specialist, counselor, school social worker, school psychologist, and school administrator. Team membership depends upon your child’s need. The most important member of the Tier III team is you – the parent. You know your child’s interests and strengths and also know interventions tried in the past, those that worked and those that didn’t.
What if my child still needs more support?
If after receiving intensive and closely monitored intervention your child continues to significantly struggle, the Tier III team may consider a referral to the 504 or IEP team for consideration of an evaluation to see if your child qualifies for accommodations or specially designed instruction through one of these programs.
The 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic access to the learning environment.
The IEP Plan (IEP) is a plan or program developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives specialized instruction and related services.
As a first step to get help, we always encourage any parent to reach out to your child's teacher or his/her school counselor.