Now that your student is back in school, (however that might look for your family this year!) they may once again be struggling to pass that algebra test or have a difficult time completing their writing assignments. With the abrupt changes resulting from COVID-19 last spring, and readjusting to the new normal this fall, you may now be realizing that your student has fallen behind or may need some extra help. Getting them back on track could simply require a few minor adjustments to get them the help they need, or setting up a completely different learning environment to better accommodate their schedule or social-emotional needs. Below we share several suggestions for evaluating how to support your student if they are struggling and a few solutions that could help ready them for the rest of the school year. 1) Communicate with their teachers. If your student is struggling, encourage them to talk with their teachers about how to get back on track. This can help you and your student understand where they are struggling the most and how to best address their learning gaps. If your student failed a test, find out where they struggled the most and what topics to focus on moving forward. This will provide valuable insight and also demonstrate to the teacher that your student is interested in improving. It could also increase the likelihood that a teacher will provide an opportunity to make up a test or offer extra credit. 2) Hire a tutor. For many students, hiring a tutor can be incredibly helpful. If your student is struggling with algebra, a tutor can help them to grasp some of the more challenging concepts. Most schools offer some form of tutoring. This can include both counselors and tutors who are there to support your student when they need help. Oftentimes tutors are available in real-time to provide academic support or guidance through or video chat sessions. 3) Monitoring their progress. What if your student doesn’t tell you they are struggling? Finding a school that will monitor their progress, and keep you in the loop about their success, is key. It can help if you are able to log in anytime to see your student’s grades and how long they are spending on their courses. But even more importantly, it’s helpful if counselors and teachers also monitor your student’s academic progress on a regular basis. If there is a problem, they will alert you about the issue and work together with you and your student to come up with a solution to get them back on track. 4) Talk with your student and listen to their concerns. Don’t underestimate the value of taking the time to truly listen to what’s going on in your student’s life. Their challenges in school may not have anything to do with their ability to grasp the material. The anxiety and overwhelm your student may be feeling is completely normal right now. In fact, more than 50 percent of students are experiencing a heightened level of anxiety due to the stressors of a global pandemic and ongoing civil unrest. You might even want to seek out professional counseling can help your student work through these challenges. Helping your student to address their feelings and working through them, can help them to focus on their school work and can improve their overall wellbeing. 5) Consider alternative options. If you’ve tried all of the above solutions without any improvements, it may be time to think about enrolling your student in a new school. There are a variety of options and considerations for making a big change like this, but ensuring the curriculum is rigorous and accredited by AdvancED should be a priority. AdvancED is an accreditation body that ensures the curriculum is well-balanced and exceeds standards considered essential for quality education. Identifying how the teachers and the curriculum will actively engage your student in their learning and motivate them to complete their coursework is a significant consideration. It’s also important to understand how students are supported throughout the learning process by teachers, counselors, coaches, and tutors. But most importantly, you want to ensure the new school will make a positive difference in your student’s life. At the end of the day, it’s all about building their confidence and finding the right option to meet their needs. Learn more about Apex Learning Virtual School Apex Learning Virtual School (ALVS) is a fully accredited, private, middle and high school academy that offers full-time and part-time options to students who are looking for a high quality, alternative education. Over 100,000 students have passed our nationally accredited courses and received course credits from their school of record. To learn more about how to enroll in one of our courses or the high school academy, visit: https://www.apexlearningvs.com/.