Suggested Questions to Ask School Staff
The following are sample, optional questions you may ask school staff about the health and safety of your child at school.
Keeping Your Child Safe at School
- Who can I talk with if I am worried about my child’s safety at school?
- Will the school provide an interpreter at the meetings I have with the school staff? If so, how can I request an interpreter?
- Will the school provide translation services of written materials that were given to me during meetings with school staff?
- Will the school provide assistance or accommodations if I have a disability and need a sign language interpreter, reader, or note-taker?
- What rules and practices does the school have to keep my child safe from danger (such as a fire, an active shooter, or a major storm)?
- What are the school’s rules on bullying? Are these rules posted somewhere? If the rules are not posted in my home language, does the school have someone who can translate them for me?
- How do I talk to my child about bullying? Who can I talk to if I think my child is being bullied or not being treated with respect?
- Who can I talk to if I am worried about my child’s emotional health?
- Does the school train the school staff to help with my child’s emotional health?
- What community partnerships does the school have to help with my child’s emotional health?78
- Is counseling available in our home language?
- How is school bus safety monitored? How are problems on the bus reported to the school and parents?
- We live near the school. Is it safe for my child to walk to and from school? Have there been incidents that I should know about? Does the school do anything to keep children safe who are walking to and from school?
- Will the school or teacher keep information about my child confidential? How is my child’s and family’s information protected?
- Does the school share information about my child or family’s immigration status with anyone?
Keeping Your Child Healthy at School
- If my child is feeling sick, when do I need to keep him or her home from school? Do I need to call and tell the school that my child is sick? What number do I need to call?
- Does the school have menus of what will be served at school for breakfast, snack, and lunch? Can I see these menus in my home language?
- My child has food allergies. How will the school make sure he or she is not given food that will make him or her sick?
- My child has diabetes and needs to have frequent snacks during the school day. Will the school give the snacks to my child, or do I need to provide them? Will my child be given the time to eat them?
- Because of our religion, my child will need to fast on some days. What are the school’s rules and practices for this?
- How much does breakfast or lunch cost? Do I pay with a credit card, check, or in cash? Is there another way to pay for meals? Can I set up an online account to pay for my child’s meals in advance? How can I know how much is in the account? Will someone let me know when my child needs more money?
- How do I apply for free and reduced-price meals? Is the application in my home language? Who can help me complete the application? How long does it take before my child can receive free or reduced-price meals?
- If my child has a medical or other health condition, such as seizures, what does the school need to know and what do I need to do so my child can take medications at school?
- Does the school partner with any low-cost, medical, dental, and vision care providers where I can take my child? Do you know if any of these places have staff who speak my home language or have interpreters?
78 A community partner may be a local, state, national, international, public, community-based, private, or academic organization. Some examples might include libraries, colleges, universities, YMCA, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, zoos, museums, recreational centers, and newspapers.