D or F - What can a Parent Do?

D or F!

What Can Parents Do To Help?

When your child has a D or F on their report card, the first thing that you need to determine is “why?”. Are they struggling with material or failing to complete assignments as required?

If they are struggling with the material, then:

They should seek out the teacher for clarification and help. The teacher is the one who knows best the meaning and procedure of the lesson.


Children should be encouraged to be active participants in class – asking questions, restating issues, taking good notes, and working with others to formulate thoughts


If they don’t understand or they have a problem – they need to ask! (teacher, counselor, principal)


Help with homework by older brothers and sisters; study buddies or parents should also help with comprehension. Ask the child questions about the material. If they can explain it to you, then they better understand it. Parents will also find out just what they are struggling with.

Additional practice sheets might be obtained from the teachers for extra work on some concepts.

Study skills classes are available here to help students learn how to study and learn more efficiently and effectively.

Peer tutoring is available. The members of the high school National Honor Society offer tutoring to the Junior High as part of their service requirement. See Mrs. Fickert for more information.

Adult tutors, especially University students, are an option on a more formal and costly basis.

-- If the above interventions do not produce achievement as appropriate, then further, more involved, formal school support systems may be available.

If they are failing to complete assignments as required, then:

Contact the teacher for clarification of missing work, behavioral issues, poorly done assignments, or classroom rules. Review and clarify with student.


Be sure they have a planner and use it. Parents may need to check that it is being used correctly. Initialing by parents and teachers can reinforce that all assignments are being written down, and that the student has completed the work at home.


Help student get organized and provide necessary supplies to accomplish this. Periodically check backpack and binders for signs of organization or lack thereof.

Sit down and establish or review expectations of goals by student and parents. Make sure that they are reasonable, yet challenging. Have consequences in place for noncompliance and enforce them consistently without blame or anger.

Make up all missed work in a timely fashion. Know the policies of each teacher.

Parents need to establish and maintain communication with teachers to eliminate confusion of expectations and close loopholes.

If a child does not remember an assignment, have them call a classmate for the information or check the teacher’s website. Do not allow them to ignore it.

Establish a set place to study each night that is free of distractions. Try to have a consistent time or pattern of the day for work to be accomplished. Establish a routine.

Parent Tips-


•Be interested. Show that academic progress is important to you.
•Set clear expectations and discuss them with your child.
•Offer to help with homework or projects, but do not take over or do more than is wanted. It is their responsibility to complete it to the best of their ability.
•Listen. Know what your child is doing in school.
•Encourage your child to be involved in all aspects of school – academics, athletics, and activities.
•Monitor and prioritize nonacademic activities – TV, phone, job...........make sure they have enough time to devote to school.
•Have your child in school whenever possible. Lots of absences. unless truly ill, will send the wrong message and negatively impact their progress.
•Don’t have unrealistic expectations.
•Don’t criticize a teacher in front of the child. This creates a loss of respect. Closed minds impede learning.
•Make sure that your child’s classes are appropriate for them – not too difficult or easy.
•Hold your child accountable.




In Junior High, we are working on transitioning from the elementary school where parents are generally more involved to high school when the student is expected to be more independent. So, we encourage the student to do many of these things themselves. However, parental involvement is still necessary. Parents need to be aware of the struggles and the possible interventions. They need to encourage the student to take advantage of these interventions. To take over the process does not allow growth by the student; however, turning it over completely is usually not effective either. So, encourage your child to step up where they can be successful, and step in for more complicated or overwhelming interventions.