I am a Chinese mom,want to know how school thing works in America

Ai - posted on 04/22/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hello,everyone!We just came to America two months ago from China,for work reason.I don't know how to contact with my son's teacher.
Here is different from China.In China,I met his teacher every afternoon when we took our child back
from school,it is so easy to communicate with her,and we also through cellphone,email.
The parents in the same class has a QQ group in internet.We can talk together anytime.And Every semester,we parents hold several activities for all students and parents,like have a trip,of course free or AA,freewill.So I was familiar with the teachers,the classmates and their parents.We almost know everything happened in my son's class .
But here is different.
I just met my son's teacher once ,at the first day went to the elementary school.Just say hello,not deeply talking.Then I sent email to her to ask some about son's study,because I really have a lot of questions:).She replied,not promptly.She must be busy.I didn't make a phone call,for I am afraid be too disturbing.
And I never see or talk with other parents of my son's classmates.
I want to know how the school thing works here,in America?
Please give me information and suggestion,very appreciate.
Sorry for my English,I am working hard at it:)

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Amy - posted on 04/22/2013

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Usually at the beginning of the school year (in our school district) the teacher sends home a bunch of information about how they run their classroom, we usually get contact information e-mail and phone and list their preference of how to be contacted. The school should of had an open house at the beginning of the school year so you can meet with the teacher and speak with them a few minutes, as well as have your son show you around the classroom and school.

Our school system just went to a trimester vs. a semester, so they have 2 parent teacher conferences. One in November and then we had another one in March to discuss our childs progress. We get a report card in November, March, and then at the end of the school year in June with grades.

I have very limited contact with my sons teacher but I do e-mail him with any concerns, or if I feel something is going on in his home life that may have an impact on his schooling. He gets back to me fairly quickly. My son doesn't struggle academically but I would think that if he was his teacher would reach out to me. Maybe send your sons teacher an e-mail letting her know that you are new here and would like to make an appointment to sit down with her to go over how things are done here. Just explain that things are much different here and you are used to seeing your sons teacher daily so you'd like to ask her questions like how often you will receive updates about your sons progress because you don't want to bother her too much.

As far as meeting your sons classmates and parents look into attending PTO meetings at the school. PTO's are always looking for parents to be involved and it's a great way to meet other parents.

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Ai - posted on 04/23/2013

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I am so apreciate for your so detailed explanation.
Now I am in Atlanta ,there are 2 semester one year.I think I missed the beginning of the school year,so I also missed some information.
Maybe I can make an appointment later,because my son 's school is in a CRCT test this week.The teacher seems very busy.I will make a list about my question before I see the teacher,it must be a long list:)
Thank you again,Amy!

Amy - posted on 04/22/2013

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And your post was easy to understand so it looks like your English is pretty good :)

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