If you are like me, you spend the first 10 minutes of each day making the rounds to collect paperwork. It's that time of year when assessment referrals peak and you are collecting parent and teacher information forms daily. Here are 5 ways to ensure that the forms are completed and returned quickly.
TIP #1: My first suggestion is to let parents and teachers know that their input in valued and that they are an important member of the assessment team. Communicate to parents and teachers that their knowledge and feedback is critical in developing the optimal plan for the child. If all members know their role, they will be more likely to participate in the process including completing important forms.
TIP #2: This next tip is basic, but has the potential to make the stress of completing forms less daunting for parents and teachers. Fill in the student's name, DOB, identification number, gender, address, etc. I know this seem simple, but by completing as many fields that you can, you will limit the number for the other parties involved.
TIP #3: My next recommendation is to give parents and teachers a deadline. You would hope that all members would complete paperwork in a timely manner, but if you do not give a deadline, it will be pushed aside.
TIP #4: This one is simple, but important- follow-up with parents and teachers. Once you have sent home the information, call parents 2-3 days later to answer any questions and give a "gentle" reminder that you need the forms completed as soon as possible. You can also do this with teachers!
TIP #5: Finally, give chocolate! Everyone loves a sweet treat. I often send my forms with a small note and a "Take 5" candy. I print several notes at the beginning of the year and have a small basket with the candy. When I need a teacher information form completed, I grab a note, piece of chocolate and complete the previous steps!
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Hope these tips help and good luck! :)