Prepping for a meeting with your child’s school - Action for Healthy Kids
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Prepping for a meeting with your child’s school

Whether you’re meeting with staff from your child’s school to discuss academic, social-emotional, or behavioral concerns, or meeting for an annual family-teacher conference, it can be helpful to prepare your questions ahead of time.

The information below can help guide the conversation and ensure that you get the information you need to best support your child. Dive in and equip yourself with the tools you need to navigate important conversations with confidence. This resource is designed to help you prepare for meetings with various school personnel.

Questions to Ask

Consider using the following questions to prepare for your meeting. You can provide these questions to the school staff ahead of time to make the meeting run more smoothly, and can also ask for a follow-up meeting if there’s not enough time to cover all of your questions.

  • What do you see as my child’s strengths and what can I do at home to support and encourage those strengths?
  • How is my child progressing academically, socially, and emotionally? Do you see any areas of concern?
  • How do you differentiate instruction to meet the different needs of children in the classroom, including those of my child?
  • How do you assess my child’s progress? How often will I receive updates on their academic and behavioral performance?
  • What support will my child be receiving on a daily basis? Who will be providing these supports, and how do they coordinate with one another?
  • What is the current priority for my child’s learning?
  • What does my child’s day look like? What patterns in learning and behavior do you notice throughout the day?
  • What’s the best way for you and me to keep in contact and collaborate?

What to Bring

Advocating for your child’s needs at school can feel stressful and overwhelming, and it can be helpful to prepare yourself emotionally ahead of time to be the best champion for your child as possible.

Bring with you:

  • Any documents you have that are relevant to the situation. This might include past evaluations, progress reports, and your communications with teachers.
  • Your list of questions and something to write with and write on. Write down the key points of the meeting and any action items.
  • An idea of what you want to get out of the meeting. It can be helpful to write these down and share them with the school team ahead of the meeting.
  • If the school shared any documents with you before the meeting, take time to review them and bring any questions with you.
  • Water! Sipping water can help calm your nervous system.

Before and After the Meeting

Before the meeting, look yourself in the mirror and say aloud: “I am advocating for my child because I know my child best.” Believe it! You got this.

Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something. You have a right to understand what’s happening related to your child’s education, and oftentimes language can be technical or difficult to understand. You can ask for translation if that would be helpful to you, and many school districts also have parent advocates who can come with you to meetings.

Think of the meeting as the beginning or continuation of a partnership with the school in the best interests of your child, and be open to collaboration.

After the meeting, follow up with school staff to confirm any decisions or action steps agreed upon. Maintain open lines of communication and continue to advocate for your child’s needs as necessary.


This project on Improving Mental, Behavioral and Academic Supports to Students and Families, Part 2 is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $434,555 with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.