In my forthcoming series of blog posts, I will discuss how to communicate with schools through letter writing. I will be giving examples of various kinds of letters and the appropriate situations to send them.
Let’s kick off this series with some helpful advice on letter writing.
Seven Tips for Letter Writing:
- Organize your thoughts: It’s helpful to jot down the main ideas you wish to convey in your letter. Doing this will prevent you from meandering and ensure that your message is communicated clearly.
- Professional: It is important to format your letter or email professionally, which includes using a salutation and paragraphs. Additionally, be sure to include a subject line that clearly states the purpose of the correspondence.
- Stick to the topic: It’s important to maintain focus on your topic and avoid rambling or jumping around. Avoid including any irrelevant or unnecessary information.
- Factual: Focus on presenting the facts and avoid providing a lengthy and disorganized explanation of the problem.
- Action: Clearly state the action(s) you would like taken to resolve the issue. If you require a meeting, request one. If you would like additional accommodations for your child, make a request for them. If you require additional related service time, request an updated evaluation for that service.
- Grammar: It’s important to use correct grammar, avoiding contractions, slang, and clichés. Keep your sentences short and concise, ensuring that each word counts. This will help make your message clear to the reader. Take advantage of spell check and double-check the spelling of proper nouns. Before sending your letter, step away from it for an hour or so, then proofread it again. This will allow you to catch any errors that you may have missed the first time.
- Emotions: It’s best to avoid sending a letter in a fit of anger. Take some time to sleep on it and review it with a clear mind. Be sure to steer clear of making threats or using curse words. This kind of language will not help resolve the issue and may lead to you being seen as a difficult parent. Instead, aim to write your letter in a way that would garner sympathy from a stranger reading it.
In my next post, we will discuss writing a letter to request a Full Initial Individual Evaluation (FIIE).
If you require help in writing a letter or desire an additional perspective to review one you have already written, do not hesitate to contact me.