By Denise Smith Amos
The Cincinnati Enquirer
If a child fails a course (or comes close)
Click to view Acrobat PDF file (192k) showing in-depth look at new and old report cards and how they differ.
(Charles W. Jones/Enquirer infographic)
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Be constructive in your feedback, says Mike White, of Princeton City Schools. Help your child develop a plan to improve.
Don't call them "good grades" or "bad grades," says Mary Ann Buchino, psychologist at Nativity School in Pleasant Ridge. "To a child that translates to 'I'm good because I got good grades' or 'I'm bad because I got bad grades.'"
Ask the teacher to list specific strengths and weaknesses, so you can tailor your response, said Bev Miller, a Mount Healthy Schools teacher.
Cut down on distractions, especially video games, TV and Internet chat sessions, White says.
"Lay down the law," on time management, says Ann Rolwing, a psychologist at La Salle High School.
If child passes (but can do better)
Make a game of improving test scores and homework grades.
Set realistic goals. "Not all students are 'A' students in every subject," says Nancy Buckman, assistant principal at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Middle School.
Ask your child what led to the grade and develop a plan to eliminate obstacles.
If child gets high grades (but needs motivation)
For high school students, note what grades and class rankings they'll need to get into the college of their choice, White says.
For younger kids, explain the academic requirements of their dream career, says Patricia Murray, director of curriculum and assessment for Boone County Schools.
Talk with teachers about more challenging assignments.
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