School Communication Tips

Teacher W Kindergarteners

It’s natural for parents to have questions about their children’s academic experiences and accomplishments as they journey through school. Here are points of contact for finding answers to questions you may have.

Whom should I talk to about academic concerns regarding my child?
Always start with your child’s teacher and/or any specialists working with your child. This may include teachers who specialize in academically gifted, special education, speech, occupational therapy and other areas. If they aren’t able to answer your questions, they can direct you to someone who can.

How do I resolve a problem I’m having with my child’s teacher?
Start with the teacher, if you’re comfortable speaking directly to him or her about the issue. If it’s a sensitive topic, consider making an appointment with the school counselor or grade-level principal.

Who can answer questions I have about standardized tests my child is required to take?
Curriculum and instruction managers, as well as your child’s teacher, should be able to answer these questions. Special education and academically gifted teachers typically analyze standardized test results to determine which children qualify for exceptional or differentiated services, so they may also be able to answer your questions.

Whom do I contact to register my child for kindergarten, or any other grade, if we are new to the area?
The student information data manager at the base public school assigned to your address handles all enrollment issues, such as kindergarten or new student registration, current students who may be moving out of the school assignment area but want to stay at their current school, and students who are transferring in from another school.

Who can help me understand how to request a transfer for my student to attend another school?
The student information data manager can walk you through this process and answer any questions you might have. If he or she can’t answer your questions, the school district’s student assignment office is a good resource to consult.

How does my child’s school handle joint custody arrangements?
The student information data manager handles joint custody arrangements and can answer questions you may have about your particular circumstances.

How do I handle a bullying situation my child is experiencing at school?
Start with the guidance department. Some schools also offer a bullying “hotline” through which students can anonymously report a bullying situation.

Whom should I consult to get a head start on my child’s college or other post-secondary school planning?
High school guidance counselors are equipped to walk you through this, although many have hefty caseloads (especially at larger public high schools). Consult with guidance counselors beginning in middle school to find out what high school academic pathways will be open to your child based on the classes he or she currently takes or has taken. This will help you plan ahead.

How do I get copies of my child’s high school transcripts?
High schools often include “student information” menu tabs on their websites that link to directions for obtaining your child’s transcripts. Registrars and guidance counselors can also tell you how to get copies.

If my child rides the bus, whom do I contact for questions about my child’s bus transportation?
Most schools can transfer you directly to the transportation office (via phone) that covers your area. School personnel can also update you on why a bus is late or may not have shown up at your assigned stop to pick up your child. Most school districts also publish transportation contact information and facilitate online communication via email or a form.

How do I change my child’s bus stop or route?
Check with your school district’s transportation office via phone or the school district’s website to learn more about this process. Many school districts make online request forms available to parents.

If I’m planning to carpool, whom do I contact at my child’s school to find out how that process works?
The front office staff at most schools can offer this information, and many schools — public, private and charter — include information about the car pool procedure on their websites.

DISTRICT LEVEL CONTACTS

How do I reach my school district’s board of education?

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools: Email all CHCC board members using this address: allboardmembers@chccs.k12.nc.us. Find individual members’ phone numbers and email addresses at chccs.k12.nc.us (click on “About the Board of Education”).

Chatham County Schools: Go to chatham.k12.nc.us and click on “Board of Education” to find each member’s phone number and email address.

Durham County Schools: Go to dpsnc.net and click on “About DPS,” then “Board of Education,” to access each board member’s phone number and email address.

Orange County Schools: Go to orange.k12.nc.us and click on “Board of Education” to access each board member’s phone number and email address.

Wake County Public School System: Go to www.wcpss.net and click on “Board of Education” to access each member’s phone number and email address.

How do I find out more about career/technical, academically gifted and pre-K programs offered at public schools in my county, as well as how to qualify for or enroll in them?

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools: Go to chccs.k12.nc.us and click on “Academics” then “Programs” for information about career/technical and gifted education programs. Click on “Academics” for information about pre-K/Head Start/Smart Start programs.

Chatham County Schools: Go to district.chatham.k12.nc.us and click on “Newcomers” for academically and intellectually gifted education programming. Click on “Parents” then “Title 1 Parent Resources” for pre-K information. For information on career/technical programs, contact Colin K Batten Jr. at 919-542-3626 or kbatten@chatham.k12.nc.us.

Durham County Schools: Go to magnet.dpsnc.net for a list of magnet schools in Durham County, dpsnc.net/programs-services/academics/advanced-academics for academically and intellectually gifted education program information and dpsnc.net/programs-services/dps-title-i-prek for pre-K information.

Orange County Schools: Go to orange.k12.nc.us then click on “Curriculum and Instruction” for information about academically gifted and career/technical program information. Click on orange.k12.nc.us/academic_dept_pages/elem_ed_prek.html for pre-K program information.

Wake County Public School System: Go to www.wcpss.net/what-we-teach for a list of alternative schools, magnet programs, early colleges, career academies housed within certain schools, pre-K programs and more. Go to www.wcpss.net/departments/aig.html for information about the academically or intellectually gifted program.

STATE-LEVEL CONTACTS

How do I reach the N.C. State Superintendent and Board of Education?
Visit stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov and click on “About SBE” for N.C. State Superintendent June Atkinson’s email address and state board members’ email addresses.

Who can answer questions about K-12 curriculum, instruction and grading scales in North Carolina public schools:
Maria Pitre-Martin, director of the K-12 Curriculum and Instruction Division of Public Schools of North Carolina: 919-807-3817; maria.pitremartin@dpi.nc.gov. Find additional information at ncpublicschools.org.

Who can answer questions about N.C. public school assessments and exams?
Tammy Howard, director of Accountability Operations: 919-807-3787; tammy.howard@dpi.nc.gov. You can also visit ncpublicschools.org/accountability for additional information and contacts.

Who can answer questions about state curriculum and assessment requirements for home-schooled students, and find answers to other FAQs about home schooling?
Kristy Daughtry, a home-schools education consultant for the Division of Non-Public Education: 919-733-4276. You can also visit www.ncdnpe.org and click on “Home Schools” for links to state requirements for opening and administering home schools.

Who can answer questions about state curriculum and assessment requirements for private-school students?
David Mills, an education consultant for private schools for the Division of Non-Public Education: 919-733-4276. You can also visit www.ncdnpe.org for links about requirements and answers to other FAQs.

Where can I find a directory of private schools in North Carolina?
Go to www.ncdnpe.org and click on “Private Schools” for a directory that categorizes schools by county.

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