Record Keeping Activity #2:
In addition to the communication log, sending confirmation e-mails is another record-keeping activity that you should engage in. A lot of confusion and misunderstanding can be avoided when you write confirmation e-mails. Should you write a confirmation e-mail after every telephone conversation or meeting? Not necessarily. Save confirmation e-mails for conversations or meetings where something important has been discussed, agreed upon, or not agreed upon or actions are to be taken by someone.
Tips on Writing the Confirmation E-mail:
- Be polite, not harsh or judgmental;
- Stick to the facts;
- Keep emotions out of the letter;
- Review the letter before sending it;
- Ask that a copy be placed in your child’s educational file; and
- Keep a copy for yourself.
You want your e-mail viewed as constructive and collaborative and that you are part of the solution. You want your child’s teachers open to working with you to make improvements and changes to your child’s educational program. Harshly worded and judgmental e-mails will build walls between you and your child’s school and make working with your child’s school difficult.
Sample Wording for Confirmation E-Mails:
Dear Ms. Algebra teacher,
Thank you for speaking with me this morning regarding Jane’s grades in your class. As discussed, I will have Jane turn in the three missing assignments tomorrow. She had completed them and they have been in her binder this whole time.
I appreciate you working out a system to remind her to turn in her assignments in the future.
Please let me know if this system does not work. I researched and found a couple of other options that may work or we can call an ARD meeting to get input from the ARD committee.
Dear Ms. Third Grade Teacher,
Thank you for meeting with me this afternoon regarding John’s progress in reading. To recap the meeting:
- He is currently on Tier II of RTI;
- He is not showing improvement with RTI;
- You requested evaluations for dyslexia or another reading disability;
- I will send a request to Ms. LSSP and Mr. Principal asking for an evaluation as well.
- You will continue to work with him including RTI; and
- We will meet next month for another parent/teacher conference.
Please let me know if this is not your understanding of what we discussed in today’s meeting.
Dear Mr. Principal,
It is my understanding that per our conversation today, Mrs. Fifth Grade Teacher agrees to implement the following: A daily behavior/reward chart for off-task behaviors.
Please advise if this is not your understanding of our conversation.
In another series, I will discuss letter writing in more detail along with different types of letters to send to the school and when to send them.
In my next blog post, we will finish this series by discussing problem-reporting worksheets and requesting data and work samples to monitor IEP goal progress.
If you need assistance writing a confirmation letter or an extra set of eyes to review one you have written, feel free to reach out to me.