... integral members of the community, and it is their support and guidance that enables students to thrive in their high school years. However, this is also a time when students explore who they will be as adults: what inspires them, what passions they follow, and how choices and decisions shape their experiences. To this end, parents and guardians often struggle to know when to allow their student the space and independence to steer their own ship, and when to intervene in their school experience. Here are a few recommendations for navigating these exciting but also challenging years:
- If there is a concern in a particular class, whether about homework, grades or progress, it is best that the STUDENT meet with the teacher first, as this is the primary relationship. If after this step it is determined that more support is needed, the student and family should reach out to the student's advisor OR grade-level dean for additional consult.
- If there are concerns about multiple classes or that your student is not thriving academically overall, please reach out to the student's advisor and grade level dean, as this may indicate an issue beyond a singular class experience.
- If there is a social-emotional issue with the student or family, or your student is not thriving outside of classes, it is best to reach out to the student's advisor who may then direct the family to the school counselors and grade level dean.
Whenever possible, it is best to have the student included in all meetings and communications about their high school experience. However, we realize there may be occasions when families feel an "offline" conversation with a dean or counselor is needed before bringing the student into the communication.
In addition, it is also best to include teachers in all communications about their class—it rarely serves the student-teacher relationship well for parents to engage a dean or other administrator about a course or teacher without first discussing concerns with the faculty member. All deans and advisors will encourage this process of communication should issues arise.
If ever you are unsure how to proceed in support of your student, it is always best practice to begin in consultation with your student and their advisor to determine next steps.