Parent Communication

How to get involved and stay informed
Questions
1)  How do I volunteer at my childs' school?
2)  How can I stay informed?
3)  How else can I get involved?
4)  How do I maintain communication with the school?
5)  Where can I go for answers?
6)  What information is available to me at the school site?
7)  What information is available to me at the Sunnyvale School District Office?
8)  What information is available to me at the County Office of Education?
 
Answers
1)  Q How do I volunteer at my childs' school?
A
Contact the School Site. They will give you information on how you can volunteer.

You can get involved with your local school in many different ways, small and large. You can volunteer at school. You can attend a meeting or participate in activities sponsored by organizations like the PTA or you can serve on advisory groups such as the School Site Council and committees for the parents of bilingual, gifted and talented, or Title I students. You can donate the amount of money or time you can afford.
2)  Q How can I stay informed?
A
Pay attention to the information the school sends home. 
    • Some teachers may send letters home, post e-mail or use a voice mail message system. Schools and PTAs send home frequent newsletters, which may be mailed directly to you or may be in your child's backpack! Take time to read these messages. You'll understand a lot more about your child's school experience. Make note of important school dates on your calendar. All of our schools have web sites where you can find more information.
  • Attend school-sponsored events.
    • Schools often invite parents to come for special events like Back-to-School Night, parent-teacher conferences, special student performances and more. Watch for information about these events and go to them. Your attendance helps you feel comfortable at school, keeps you informed, and tells your child that your family believes school is important.
  • Save questions about your child for private meetings.
    • At public meetings and events it's hard for teachers and the principals to answer questions about your individual child. Most will be happy to schedule a phone or personal appointment. You can get involved with your local school in many different ways, small and large. You can volunteer at school. You can attend a meeting or participate in activities sponsored by organizations like the PTA or you can serve on advisory groups such as the School Site Council and committees for the parents of bilingual, gifted and talented, or Title I students. You can donate the amount of money or time you can afford.
3)  Q How else can I get involved?
A

Start by serving on local school-site groups or committees.  

    • This often leads to district-level involvement. Let your school principal know you're interested in learning about the "bigger picture."
  • Find out more about district issues.
    • Be sure you read any district newsletters or similar information you receive. Attend school board or other district wide meetings to meet people, learn about current issues, and identify opportunities to get involved.
  • Watch for news about district task forces or committees.
    • Facilities task forces, strategic planning committees, and budget advisory committees. Let district leaders and school principals know you are interested.
4)  Q How do I maintain communication with the school?
A
When you are unhappy or concerned about something that happens at the school or in the classroom, you should say so. Communicate with the teacher, the principal, then the school district superintendent. Putting your concerns into a written and signed letter helps schools create a record and take your opinions seriously. Express your concern with the same courteousness and respect you expect to see in return.

It is also important to tell school district leaders the good things! If you find an especially good school employee, teacher, or program at your school, let school district officials know. Educators value such approval from the public. It also helps identify you as a supporter of the schools.
5)  Q Where can I go for answers?
A
The Sunnyvale School District is a public agency and wants public support. The district must by law respond to all reasonable requests for information about local public schools. For routine, easy-to-find information, visit this web site. If the information is not available, call one of the numbers listed below. The staff routinely takes calls from the public and can almost always direct you to the right person.
6)  Q What information is available to me at the school site?
A

School site personnel can help you in a variety of ways.

  • Talk to Your Child's Teacher About:
    • Your child's special needs, progress and classroom behavior
    • Homework
    • Promotion requirements
    • What is being taught in class
    • Helping in the classroom
    • Test results and report cards
    • Best time for you to be contacted
    • How you can support learning at home
  • Talk to the School Secretary About:
    • Registering for school
    • Immunization requirements
    • School calendar
    • On-site day care
    • After-school programs
    • Lost and found
    • School lunches
    • Absences
    • General questions about who to talk to and how to contact them
  • Talk to the Principal or Assistant Principal About:
    • What is being taught and what textbooks are used
    • Student discipline and school rules
    • How your child is assigned to a class and teacher
    • The school dress code
    • Special programs to help your child learn
    • The school's safety plan
    • Ways you can help and support the school
    • Serving on the School Site Council or advisory committees
    • Anything you can't find answers for elsewhere.
  • Talk to School Site Council about:
    • Academic development
    • Curriculum programs
    • School safety
    • Enrichment programs
7)  Q What information is available to me at the Sunnyvale School District Office?
A

Administrative contacts at the District Office include; 

  • Coordinator Student Information 408-522-8200, x280
    • Attendence
    • School Boundaries
    • School choice
    • Inter/Intra District Transfers
    • Truancy Abatement
After School Tutorials School districts vary in how they handle school choice, attendance boundaries, and transfers between school districts and to other schools within the district.
  • Director of Special Education/Pupil Personnel 408-522-8200, x238
    • Services for students (or pupil personnel) include:
    • Specialized education programs offered by and through your district (i.e., Special Education)
    • Your child's eligibility for those programs
    • The student evaluation and placement process
    • Explanation of special test scores
    • Student Files
    • Counseling
    • State pre-school
  • Assistant Superintendent Curriculum and Instruction 408-522-8200, x239
    • Curriculum and Instructional Matters Include:
    • Textbook selections
    • Academic Standards
    • Standardized Testing
    • District wide student test results
    • Curriculum
    • Specialized education programs offered by the district (i.e., Limited English Proficient, Gifted and talented...)
    • Grading
    • Promotion and Retention
  • Deputy Superintendent 408-522-8200, x209
    • Business and Operations Matters Include:
    • Community use of school facilities and playing fields
    • How much money the school district receives
    • How the money is spent
    • The condition of school buildings, including maintenance needs
    • District-wide purchasing
    • District budgets
    • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Director of Human Resources 408-522-8200, x212
    • Employment opportunities
    • Certificated positions
    • Classified positions
    • Substitute opportunities
  • Superintendent 408-522-8200, x203
    • District policies
    • District wide committees, task forces, and projects
    • District's philosophy of education
    • How to run for the school board
    • Agendas and minutes of school board meetings
    • General issues and concerns
    • Unsolved problems
8)  Q What information is available to me at the County Office of Education?
A

The County Office of Education provides services to school districts and runs some educational programs. When a matter involves more than one school district, or you're not sure which district it involves, your local county office can usually help.

  • Contact the County Office About:
    • School District boundaries
    • Special Education services
    • County-run education programs such as juvenile court schools
    • Interpretation of state regulations and school finance laws
    • Comparative Statistics and test scores for your local and neighboring school districts
    • Matters related to school district organization and unification.
    • Appeals of district's student expulsion and inter-district transfer decisions
    • Policies, budgets, and operations of the county office

Santa Clara County Office of Education
1290 Ridder Park Drive
San Jose, CA 95131
(408) 543-6500
http://www.sccoe.org

SCCOE's Resources for Families Web Page

http://www.sccoe.org/resourcesfamilies/default.asp