Giving Parents Options: Strategies for Informing Parents and Implementing Public School Choice And Supplemental Educational Services Under No Child Left Behind
September 2007
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Simplifying forms for parents

Districts can help ease the burden on parents by ensuring that transfer applications and SES enrollment forms are simple and easy to understand.

Ensuring readability. As they should with parent notices, districts should avoid using jargon and "legalese," check readability of public school choice applications and SES enrollment forms using readability indexes, and convert technical terms and complicated language into simpler language wherever appropriate. Districts should also be sure to translate applications and enrollment forms into languages other than English wherever needed.

Districts should also be sure to work with parents in developing these forms and get feedback as to their user-friendliness.

Using enrollment assistance sessions. Districts can further assist parents by providing hands-on explanations of the public school choice application and SES enrollment forms and processes through enrollment assistance sessions or other similar events. These offer parents an opportunity to ask questions and receive assistance in filling out public school choice applications and SES enrollment forms.

Making it work

Sessions such as these can be particularly helpful when staffed by parents who have completed the enrollment process previously for their own children and are, thus, knowledgeable about the areas where parents may need assistance and the questions parents may have. Having translators on hand can further assist parents who speak languages other than English.

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Last Modified: 08/18/2008