All parents play an important role throughout their child's education.

"Parents are vital partners in education. They influence their children’s attitudes about learning and support learning at home. They are a vital link between home and school. And when they become involved in the life of the school, they make our schools better places to learn, grow and thrive. Ontario’s parent engagement policy recognizes that student achievement and success increase when parents are welcomed and respected as partners, and given the support they need to contribute at home and at school.”

Parents in Partnership, Ministry of Education, 2010

This is especially true for parents of students with LDs, who are central to early identification, as they are often the first to notice that their child is experiencing difficulty in school. After educational assessments have determined that a student has LDs, parents will continue to be vital partners throughout the child’s journey through the education system, such as Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) meetings, IEPs, parent-teacher conferences, etc.

Special Education in Ontario, Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Resource Guide outlines the roles and responsibilities for parents of children in special education. Click here to access this document.

school-family relationship

The parent:

  • is familiar with and informed about board policies and procedures in areas that affect the child;
  • participates in IPRCs, parent-teacher conferences, and other relevant school activities;
  • participates in the development of the IEP;
  • is acquainted with the school staff working with the student;
  • supports the student at home;
  • works with the school principal and educators to solve problems;
  • is responsible for the student’s attendance at school.  (​​Ontario Ministry of Education, 2017)

Educators and families generally agree that positive, supportive and open relationships between home and school, parent and teacher are desirable. Additionally, research has shown that parent engagement and successful school-family partnerships result in improved educational outcomes for students (Ministry of Education, 2010), and this is especially important for students with learning disabilities (LDs). 

What can educators and administrators do to help facilitate a positive partnership between families and the school?