Parents and Families Newsletter
Dear Parents and Families,
Classes have officially started! As your child is increasing their language and academic skills, you may be wondering how you can stay informed of their progress. This month’s newsletter will focus on how you can create an educational team between you, your child, and their teacher(s).
Enhancing Educational Support for EB Students (Virtual) - November 11, 2022 (9:00am - 11:00am)
The TEA English Learner Support Division is excited to host three virtual statewide events this upcoming school year. Families will have an opportunity to attend watch parties hosted by schools or watch virtually from home on a smart device. Our first event will focus on what it looks like to address the language and academic needs of your child based on the program they are enrolled in. Check with your child’s school to see if they are hosting a watch party for this event. Registration is open on our Parents/Families page of txel.org.
Association for Migrant Educators of Texas (AMET) Conference
2022 Statewide Parental Involvement Conference, December 8-10, 2022
Are you interested in learning more about how to support your child’s learning journey to meeting our state academic standards? Come learn about impactful practices happening in districts, schools, and classrooms and be the spark for change in your child’s school. This in-person conference for educators, parents, and families will take place in beautiful Frisco, Texas on December 8-10 and registration is open!
Websites for At-Home Learning For Students
Research shows that emergent bilingual students are able to learn English faster if they have a strong foundation in their native language. We encourage you to think of language learning as a family activity where both you and your child grow in your native language as well as English. You may use any of the below resources to assist you.
During your conversation with your child’s teacher, ask if there are opportunities available for your child to receive additional academic support. They may need to accelerate learning after disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic so that they can continue to perform at grade-level standards. On the other hand, if you feel that your child may need some more challenging learning experiences, you are encouraged to talk to your child's teacher about that as well.
HB 4545 Overview for Parents
What are Accelerated Learning Committees?
What is Supplemental Instruction?
Consider taking these steps to strengthen communication with your child’s teacher.
- Before the meeting, ask your child about how they feel when they are in their teacher’s class and ask if they are struggling with any schoolwork.
- During the meeting, you can ask about your child’s areas of strength and areas of improvement in the classroom. Find out about your child’s mental and emotional wellbeing by asking about their participation level and moods.
- After the meeting, speak with your child about what was discussed and share any plans that you and your child’s teacher talked about.
Below you can find some examples of questions you can use to begin discussions with your child’s teacher:
· How is my child doing in class? Does my child participate?
· What can I do to help my child at home?
· Is my child on track to begin college or a career after graduation?
· What programs are available to help my child prepare for college?
· What programs are available to provide more challenging learning experiences for my child?
Remember that you have the right to ask for an interpreter if you are unsure of attending a meeting in English.
Scholarships Start EarlyFall is a great time to begin applying for scholarships! Scholarships tend to have less competition due to the uncommon deadlines. Check out the Student Scholarships page for scholarships that have application deadlines in the fall. Remember you can filter the scholarships by whether or not they require an essay, by desired degree, and much more.
Just because your high school student might not be interested in going to college doesn’t mean that they are finished with their education. Career One Stop has a “Certification Finder” that allows prospective applicants to find out which occupations require or benefit from a certificate and how to earn it.
Getting ready for school can be stressful and frustrating, so talk - or sing - it out with your child using some of the suggestions below to help school mornings run smoothly and prepare for school and work at night.
Sorting the StuffIs your child’s room a mess? Ask your child to organize their items, but also have them explain their reasoning for grouping things together. For example, are they organizing things by color or by shape? For younger students, you can start with a smaller number of things so that they do not become overwhelmed. Your child may find that cleaning their room could actually be fun if turned into a game where they have to listen to simple directions and clean as fast as they can while they race the clock.
Settle for BedIt’s time for your child to take charge of the bedtime routine! Older elementary students still need between nine and twelve hours of sleep and should stop watching screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Ask your child to read a book to you. This is a great time for you to relax while also getting to witness their reading skills firsthand.
Directions for Driving
Although a teenager getting their driver’s license may feel like the best or worst thing to happen to you, it can still serve as a great opportunity for a conversation with your teenager about growing their “adulting” skills. In preparation for getting their license, have your teenager give you directions to various locations. It can be a mentally and linguistically difficult task, but it will prepare them for many potential situations they may encounter when they are driving independently.
For our third month of exploring the 8 types of self-care for caregivers from the Daily Caring article, we are reviewing steps to ensure our financial self-care. Financial security, or lack thereof, is a major contributor to the daily stress and anxiety we feel as parents and caregivers.
Talk to experts if you are struggling with your budget. Look for a non-profit organization through the Justice.gov site that offer help in languages other than English.
Create a calendar of expenses and put it in a place where you can review it each day. Paying bills on time will improve your credit score and reduce stress.
Many parents are tasked with both caring for their children as well as their aging parents and family. Check out some articles and podcasts about easing the financial burden that comes as your parents age.
Remember to check out our previous newsletter for advice on physical and emotional self-care.
Take a Step into the Classroom
Knowing how busy the lives of parents and caregivers can get, we know that it can feel overwhelming to stay on top of your child’s education. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Try taking just a few minutes per day to strengthen the connection you have with your child and their teacher/s or play some educational games with your child and grow your skills together as a team.
If you would like to access the previous Parent and Family Newsletters, click below.
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Supporting English Learners in Texas
TXEL.org is a web portal that provides information and resources that are relevant, accessible, and impactful to support educational leaders, teachers, parents and families, and community partners to ensure the academic success of the State’s English learners.