As the school year has started, many of our Absolute HCBS families are wondering how to make the school year successful. Here are a handful of helpful tips focused on communication, organization, and staying up to date on special education news to help you and your child have a great year.
Organize Everything
The first helpful tip we have for you is to be organized!! We know that there is a lot of paperwork, documents, meetings, and appointment schedules between you, your child, and the rest of your family. For your own convenience and sanity, it is recommended that you keep a binder to hold all of your documents and paperwork so that you can keep better track of everything. It is also suggested that you have a family calendar to keep track of everyone’s school work, after school activities, meetings, and appointments. This helps you stay more organized so that you don’t miss or forget anything in your busy schedule.
Communication Log
The second helpful tip that we have for you is to keep a communication log. It is helpful to keep a communication log to keep track of all of your phone calls, emails, notes, meetings, and conferences. All you have to do is write down the date, time, and a brief summary of what took place so that you have a point of reference when you are looking for a certain piece of information or reminder for the day.
Review Your Child’s Current IEP
Your child’s IEP is is the cornerstone of his/her education program, so it is important to make sure that you have a clear understanding of what it is. Be sure to note when your child’s IEP expires, if your child is up for reevaluation, and if the IEP still “fits” your child’s needs. If you are unsure, you can contact your school about an IEP review meeting.
Relieve Back to School Nerves
Everyone can get nervous about starting a new school year, whether it’s starting a new school or just starting a new grade and having a new teacher. It is important to talk to your child about the upcoming school year to help reduce their stress and anxiety. You can talk to them about all of the exciting things coming up in the next year, such as new classes, activities, and events. With your older students, it is helpful to explain the services and accommodations in their IEP so they know what to expect in the upcoming year.

Keep Everyone Informed
It is important to get everyone informed and familiar with the routine and schedule that will be happening once school starts. It may be beneficial for you and your family to practice morning and night routines before school starts that everyone is accustomed once school actually starts.
Stay Up to Date
“Being knowledgeable about your child’s IEP and their disability can help you become a better advocate for your child” (Reading Rockets). Stay informed and up to date on new special education legislation, news, and events so that you can be prepared to help navigate your child through special education in the best way possible.
Attend School Events
Go to as many school events, such as Open Houses, Back-to-School Night, and parent-teacher conferences to help you and your child get comfortable with the school and get to know the teachers. It is also really important to keep communication open with your school and your child’s teachers so that they know what exactly your child needs to learn and how to best make your child feel safe and comfortable.
We hope that these tips were helpful and we wish you and your child the best in this upcoming school year.