School Issues and Program Information

All schools are held to certain standards based on federal and state laws. This article discusses some of obligations stated in The No Child Left Behind Act, which includes mandatory testing. It also describes the different programs available to English Language Learners and students with disabilities, as well as vocational and college preparatory programs.

Standards and Testing

  • Standards should be clear and specific about what all students are expected to know and be able to do at each grade level.
  • Tests should be based on the standards.

Questions to ask:

  • What are the specific skills and subjects my child will be learning?
  • What are my child's strengths and weaknesses?

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English Language Learners

  • Schools are required to help children who don't speak English learn English in addition to studying the same material as other kids in school.

Questions to ask:

  • What kind of services and programs does the school have to help my child learn English as well as the subjects all other students are studying?

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Students with Disabilities

  • Schools are required to provide children with disabilities a "free appropriate public education" and to place students in the "least restrictive environment".
  • A parent or the school can request to have a child evaluated. Parents must be informed of this.
  • Information provided by parents is used in the child's Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Questions to ask:

  • How does my child's disability affect his or her education?
  • What can I and the school do to help my child more?

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Vocational Programs

  • Students in these programs explore different careers and receive hands-on training.
  • The goal is to prepare students for higher education or work in fields like technology, business, auto mechanics, etc.

Questions to ask:

  • Why is this a good program for my child?
  • What have past students gone on to do after graduating from this program?

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College Preparatory Programs

  • Most programs are categorized as College Track; Honors; Magnet Programs; and Advanced Placement (AP).
  • The goal is to prepare students for higher education at a four-year college or university.

Questions to ask:

  • What programs does the school offer, and how do I get my child enrolled?
  • Does the school have a counselor that will provide my child with information and guidance on admissions, costs, financial aid, and entrance exams?

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