Throughout your child’s school years, there is always a need to communicate with school: teachers, administrators, and others concerned with your child’s education. There are also times when the school needs to communicate with you. This is particularly true when your child has a disability and is receiving special education services. Some of this communication is informal, such as phone calls, comments in your child’s notebook, a chat when picking up your child from school, or at a school function. Other forms of communication are more formal and need to be written down. However, writing a letter is a skill. Each letter you write will differ according to the situation, the person to whom you are writing, and the issues that you are discussing.
Letter writing etiquette is still important in today’s world of virtual communication. When composing a business letter, even for informal purposes, following the correct format will make your letter more readable. Appearance matters when it comes to clear and effective communication. In order to better assist the parent in writing letter a letter to a school district, the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) has compiled sample letters for you to review.
Writing letters is an important part of communication. As your son or daughter goes through school, you may have many occasions to write a letter. In advocating for your child’s needs, it is important to be able to write in a way that is effective and to the point. The following samples are written in the Microsoft Word 2010 program and will help you in writing to the professionals involved in your child’s special education process. Once opened, click on enable editing to begin to write your letter. Remove the title at the top of the page and the information about carbon copying from the page before composing a letter to the school district. Please feel free to contact the Oklahoma Parents Center, toll-free at 877-553-4332, with any questions or comments that you may have. We are here to assist you in your child’s journey through school.
Communicating With Your Child’s School Through Letter Writing
(Adobe PDF Document of all the following documents)
The following documents are in Microsoft Word, if you need the letters in PDF, please click the link above:
- Filing a Complaint with the State Education Agency
- Informing the School that You Intend to Enroll Your Child in a Private School at Public Expense
- Requesting a Change of Placement
- Requesting a Due Process Hearing
- Requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation
- Requesting an Initial Evaluation for Special Education Services
- Request a Meeting to Review the Individualized Education Program
- Requesting Mediation
- Requesting Prior Written Notice
- Writing a Follow-up Letter
- Writing a Positive Feedback Letter
- Writing to Discuss a Problem
When you communicate your thoughts, ideas, and concerns, you define your child’s needs. When you emphasize the positive aspects of your child’s education, you develop a good working relationship with the professionals in your child’s life. When you convey “what works” rather than spending time and energy on what doesn’t work, you become a stronger advocate for your child. When you need to state concerns or problems in writing, do so in a factual, non-emotional, and businesslike way; this will ultimately help you get the results you want for your child.