Hey all. Here’s a real advocacy letter that was sent by one of my families this year. Feel free to use the ideas to craft your own. I have a different article about email advocacy strategies here if you want more info. Here’s the example (names have been changed):
Aug 15, 2014
Dear Mrs. Jones,
Hi! First of all, we are excited about the 5th grade and look forward to a successful school year. I have heard that you are an excellent teacher and that Alec is in good hands.
We have been working with an education coach and doing a lot of work to help make Alec’s school experience as effective as possible. As I mentioned to you this past Tuesday Alec’s Education Coach, Seth, will be meeting with you, Ms. Smith, Ms. Miller and us this coming Friday, August 22 at 3:30.
I will also have a 504 plan set up with Mw. Smith for our son prior to, or have it done at our meeting.
Below, I have listed some tools and strategies that you can implement which will benefit everyone and help Alec have a smoother more focused class day:
• Transitioning: give a 5 minute warning that topic or lesson will be changing, ex: “Alec, lunch in 5, get ready!”
• Remind Alec to keep working and to focus on task. A note card or sticky with the task written will help, ex: “Finish paragraph :)”
• Give advanced warning that he will be called on shortly, “Alec, I’m going to call on you today and ask for your thoughts, sound good?”
• When asked a question allow 5 to 10 seconds to articulate answer to accommodate his processing speed.
• Alec is very visual, ask visual questions, “what did you see, or what about the story did you see?”
• Let him use Post-it notes:
–To write down questions
–To put on test and school work that needs to be turned in (“flag it”)
–To draw picture to express wants/needs
• Have Alec look at you when you are speaking to him, if possible have him repeat task to check for clarity
• Use short checklists whenever possible
• Have Alec clean out his desk once a week to keep it organized
Contact me via planner, email or phone if Alec fails to keep up with reading/ quizzes or other assignments. Don’t hesitate to call or email me with any thoughts.
I like this letter because it’s positive, not accusatory in any way, simple, concise, and it has concrete ideas for helping Alec. Feel free to share ideas that work for you in the comments below.