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Determining if end-of-school-year help is needed and what type

We are still in the middle of winter. If you are a parent of a middle or high school student, you might not be thinking much further ahead than next week. But there might be good reason to begin thinking seasonally about your child's educational well-being.

According to some experts, springtime can be one of the most challenging times of the school year. In many classes, the pressure rises. Students have big projects to complete, papers to write or major final exams loom. Depending on the challenges your child faces, you might consider enlisting extra help. Do you know what your options are and whether the school system will pay for them?

One thing that is clear about education today is that it is not as simple as sitting a child down in a classroom and pouring information in. There are special techniques teachers use and even then, some students require extra help that can take any number of forms. What follows are indicators that experts say parents can look for to decide what support to seek.

You might need a tutor if:

  • A child's teacher raises concerns about current progress or the possibility of a drop in final grade
  • Good grades on projects and homework aren't being matched in tests
  • A child is keeping up in class, but has trouble processing and summarizing information
  • Material has been covered in class and your child could use help with review or practice
  • Your child has trouble formulating thoughts to ask for specific help

An organizational coach might help if:

  • Your child is can't access old assignments or class notes for test reviews
  • A student has unfinished projects for which partial credit has been given but completion is in question
  • A child has trouble planning a week's worth of school work
  • Your son or daughter has trouble using textbooks for review

If your child has learning or attention deficits, developing strategies to overcome the issues might be called for. This is something an educational therapist could be called upon to provide.

What services might be provided to your child depends on the kind needed, school district policies and funding availability. By working with a skilled legal advocate, you can be confident that your needs are represented in the context of what is due by right of law.

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