Q:   My child gets her reports soon.  What should I be looking for at this time in the school year?

A:  This is a good time to look at trends.  Are your child’s grades improving, falling, or about the same?  Is she doing better in some subjects and worse in others?  If grades are rising, that’s a sign that your child’s efforts are paying off.  If they’re dropping, however, you’ll want to explore the reason.  Is a particular unit giving her trouble? Did a falling-out with a classmate get in the way? Follow up with your middle grader’s teacher by e-mail or phone on any questions you may have.  The teacher will be able to suggest next steps, such as making sure homework is done on time, getting a tutor, or selecting the right courses for next year.

Source: Reprinted with permission from (c) 2007 Resources for Educators, a division of Aspen Publishers, Inc