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Helping Single Parents Help Students Succeed


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Principals, teachers, and others can work together to help single parents and their children. In some cases, staff awareness and in-service training sessions may help develop stronger ties with a school's single parents.

Other schools have taken this a step farther: they have developed support groups so they can discuss issues that are common to single parents. The most successful of those sessions are held at various times of day -- during the school day, in the evening, or on the weekend -- and offer childcare services.

To help single parents who work outside the home, parent-teacher conferences and some other activities are scheduled in the morning (before school) or in the evening (after work). As the schedule for parent-teacher conferences is being developed, some teachers contact the single parents first to give them opportunities to select the best times for their conferences.

Some school leaders reward their teachers who make an extra effort to reach out to single parents by coming in early, staying late, or coming in on a Saturday. Rewards might include offers of comp time.

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