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Communicating with your School
A Guide for Parents/Guardians and Students
Developed jointly by the Langley Board of Education and the Langley District Parent Advisory Council.
Staff in our schools are eager to address your questions or concerns. Education is shared between the home and the school, and good communication is an excellent starting point for resolving an issue.
Build a Positive Relationship with Your School
- Support and work with your child’s teacher(s)
- Participate in your school’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC)
- Attend school events and activities
- Offer to help in the classroom
- Support your child’s learning at home
- Stay informed of your child’s progress in school
- Take opportunities to get to know the people who work with your child(ren)
- Ask your child about their school day
- Keep the school informed about issues that may affect your child.
- Don’t wait for a small problem to become a large concern
- See what social media options are available to keep up-to-date on school activities
Resolving Issues and Concerns:
- Arrange a phone appointment or in-person meeting so that your concerns can be heard without distraction (emailing to arrange a date and time works well).
- Organize your thoughts before the meeting.
- Keep focused on the issue. Remember, we are all here to ensure the success of your child.
- Treat others with dignity and respect, and expect that in return.
- Try to look at both sides of the issue and listen to everyone.
- Work with people at each step in the process to try and address your issue or concern before proceeding to the next step.
Guidelines for Parents to Follow when there is an Issue or Concern:
- Step 1:
Start with the employee whose action has given rise to the issue or concern.
- Step 2:
If the issue is not resolved, contact the school’s principal, vice-principal or counsellor. Principals work hard to provide a learning environment where your child’s needs and the needs of other students are met.
- Step 3:
If the issue is still not resolved, contact the School Board Office and speak with a District Principal or Assistant Superintendent.
- Step 4:
If after working through the steps above you have not received a decision or you disagree with the decision, depending upon the nature of the issue you may be able to appeal to the Board of Education. Section 11 of the School Act gives parents and/or students the right to ask the Board of Education to review decisions that school employees make, or fail to make, that “significantly affects the education, health or safety of a student.” A copy of the District’s Appeal Policy can be found on our website under the ‘Board’ tab here. Copies are also available at the School Board Office and your school.
Parents/guardians are urged to contact the school if they are unsure of a message, or have questions about an activity or issue. It is usually best to begin with the classroom or subject teacher. The vast majority of issues or concerns are resolved at this stage. If you are not satisfied, then you may wish to contact the principal or counsellor to request assistance in dealing with the matter. A child’s problem is best solved when the people closest to the problem work together to find a solution.
Issues or concerns that cannot be resolved through the school should be referred to the district office. The District is divided into areas of responsibility, based on ‘families’ of schools, with each school family overseen by an Assistant Superintendent. In addition, there are a variety of specialized staff at the district level with responsibility for areas such as special education, student services and transportation. Your issue or concern may be best dealt with by one of these people. Please contact the district for further information.
Other sources of support and guidance are your Parent Advisory Council (PAC) or the District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC). Your school office can provide you with the names of your school’s PAC executive. Contact the School Board Office or visit www.langleydpac.ca for DPAC contact information and other useful links.
Parents are always welcome to bring an advocate with them when meeting with school and/or district staff. PAC or DPAC members, other family members or even friends can be advocates when dealing with an issue or concern. The DPAC website contains further information on ‘Advocacy’ and links to other resources to help with problem-solving.