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When might I want to write to my child's school?

Sometimes your child may have a particular problem at school. You may have talked to your child's teacher about this concern. The two of you may have written notes back and forth or talked on the phone. If it seems as if your concern is still not resolved, then you may want to write a formal letter. Perhaps the informal communication has not been as clear as you think. Maybe you feel that the seriousness of your concern is not fully understood. By writing a letter, the school will learn that you consider the matter to be important and needs to be addressed. You can write about any concern — an Individualized Education Program (IEP) issue, a general education issue, school-yard bullying, or the need to help your child's social skills or improve behavior. You can send your letter by email or by mail. Any school problem is worth writing about if it is having a negative impact on your child and you need the school's assistance to resolve it.

Sample Letter

Date (include month, day, year)

Name of Principal
Name of School
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear (Principal's name),

I am the parent of (child's name), a (grade) student at (school building) who is currently being educated in (type of placement).

I am writing this letter because (give relevant history and facts that support your concerns. For example, your 3rd grader is struggling in school and you want to ask for help. You might say that your child's grades have been getting worse throughout the year. That fact is relevant. Talking about something that happened a long time ago probably is not likely to be helpful.).

In order to resolve my concerns (explain what you want to have happen or what you would like to see changed. You may briefly say what you would not like, or what has been tried and not worked. However, spend most of this paragraph explaining what you want.).

I request that you respond to my concerns (state the response you would prefer. For instance, do you need to meet with someone, do you want a return letter, or a phone call?).

I can be reached during the daytime at (give your telephone number and/or email address). Please respond by (pick a reasonable date, for example, five school days or a specific calendar date).

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Your Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code
Daytime telephone number

cc: your child's teacher

Note: The "cc:" at the bottom of the letter means you are sending a copy of your letter to the people listed after the cc. If you write to the Director of Special Education about a problem at your child's school, you should copy the principal. If you write to the principal about a problem, you should copy your child's teacher or other staff involved with your child. While letters usually should be addressed to the lowest level employee first, copying letters to others who are involved with you child informs them of your concerns and that you are taking steps to resolve these concerns.

Return to list of Sample Letters

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