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Catholic Education Centre5200 Wellington Rd. South, London, ON N6E 3X8
519-663-2088 | Fax: 519-663-9250
How to Address Concerns: Collaboration is Key
Helping all students reach their potential requires an effective working relationship between homes and schools with ongoing, two-way communication. However, situations may arise that cause concern for parents, teachers and students. Below are some helpful steps:
- Listen to your child: listen carefully to his or her views. Ask questions that will help you gather information. Begin your questions with 'what' or 'how'. 'Why' questions can be intimidating and evoke defensive reactions.
- Make notes: Make notes of the information your child has provided, as these may be useful later.
- Identify the concern: talking with your child will help identify and clarify any problems. Do not assume or predict that there is a problem; determine how serious the concern is for your child.
- Know the facts: after identifying the concern, it is important to get all the facts of a situation. While it is important to respect your child's point of view, it is also important to seek all pertinent information before reaching a conclusion about the matter. Don't jump to conclusions.
- Encourage independent problem solving: resolving concerns independently is an important life skill that will benefit a child. Encourage your son or daughter to use strategies that may resolve a concern for himself or herself.
- Plan: you may want to have some suggestions prepared to share with teachers and Board staff. A solution will most likely emerge if a number of options are discussed.
Whom to Contact (and When)
Knowing whom to contact at your son or daughter's school (or the Board Office) - and when - is important to deal effectively with a concern. Contacting multiple people at multiple levels at the same time often leads to confusion and misunderstanding.
- Always contact your child's teacher first. Most situations are resolved at this level. Throughout the school year, take advantage of opportunities to talk with your child's teacher(s). Talking about a concern may be less awkward if you know the teacher first.
- If your first discussion does not resolve the concern, try speaking with the teacher a second time.
- If your second discussion with the teacher does not resolve the concern, contact the Principal or Vice-Principal.
- If your discussion with the Principal/Vice-Principal does not resolve the concern, contact the Superintendent of Education for your son or daughter's school.
- If the Superintendent of Education is unable to resolve a concern, contact the Director of Education. You may also contact the Board Trustee who represents your area if a concern remains unresolved.