Partnering with Your Child's Counselor

Counseling support staff can help to ensure your child’s success in school and in the future.
Know what to ask for at a conference with your child’s counselor.

Social-Emotional Supports for Academic Success

  • Ask about providing your child with at-risk school counseling or a faculty mentor.
  • Find out about available mental health services.
  • Ask about after-school activities.
  • Ask about youth leadership at your child’s school.
  • Ask about the school's Respect for All program to address bullying.
  • Ask about counseling strategies to support your child with any behavioral concerns related to the discipline code.
  • Discuss any concerns that your family may have including busing, caring for younger siblings, housing, as well as teen pregnancy and parenting.

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Academic Supports

  • Sign up for a NYC Schools Account at your child's school for online access to your child's grades, attendance, and exam scores.
  • Ask the counselor to set up an informal contract for your child with goals for school. The contract may include a daily check-in form for each of your child’s teachers to complete.
  • Ask for a schedule of upcoming Parent Association meetings and parent-teacher conferences.
  • Ask for a schedule for when report cards are distributed at your child’s school.
  • Ask for a review of your child's report card, transcript/graduation requirements (high school only), and attendance record.
  • Ask for support with your child's middle school and high school applications.
  • Ask about setting up a weekly time to connect with your child's counselor to discuss feedback from teachers, or to review your child's attendance for the prior week.
  • Ask the counselor about the possibility of adjusting your child's academic program in order to accommodate your family’s needs.
  • Ask about receiving missed assignments from teachers, and help your child to complete them.
  • Ask about tutoring at your child’s school.

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Career and Post-Secondary Development

  • Ask how college and career planning is facilitated across the grades at your child's school.
  • Ask for your child to take a career interest inventory (i.e., for middle schools and high schools)
  • Ask how scholarship and other college opportunities are communicated to families.
  • Ask about college visits, college fairs, as well as financial aid workshops.
  • Ask the counselor about any questions you may have related to the military recruitment opt-out.
  • Ask about community service opportunities for your child.
  • Ask about teen employment opportunities including the City's Summer Youth Employment Program, available through the Department of Youth and Community Development.
  • Ask how to obtain working papers.

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Additional Parent and Family Support

If you or your family would like additional support from the NYC Department of Education, please contact:

Shoshana Lief, LMSW
Family Support Manager for Vulnerable Populations
NYC DOE Office of Safety and Youth Development 

We help by providing:

  • Short-term counseling services
  • Referrals to local services 
  • Community resources
  • Education
  • Support/advocacy
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