Why Your Tween Might Need a School Contract

Help your student prioritize the school year

Mother helping daughter with homework
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Students and parents always have high expectations and hopes for a new school year. But without a plan, it's easy for the school year to get ahead of you, and before you know it your child is struggling and you're wondering why you didn't pick up on the fact that he's behind on homework or having challenges in math. Of course, one way to avoid these school problems is to have a school contract in place at the beginning of the school year.

A contract will help you and your student stay focused and it also helps to remind one another of the school responsibilities each of you have.

Below is a sample school contract that you and your tween may use. Or, you may alter the contract below to suit your particular situation. Be sure to update the contract as needed, as circumstances and challenges might change.

A Sample Parent-Child School Contract

Parent's Responsibilities

  • I will help my child start the school year off by attending the school's open house or school orientation. I will visit with my child's teachers and learn more about my student's classes by reviewing the class syllabus or class outline.
  • I will provide all the necessary school supplies my child needs and will stock up on extra supplies that we anticipate will be needed periodically throughout the school year.
  • I will help my child determine if new school clothes will be needed as well as shoes and sneakers for gym class.
  • I will fill out all school forms in a timely manner so that my child will return them promptly to the school.
  • I will periodically review my child's homework in order to make sure he or she isn't having difficulties.
  • If my child needs assistance, I will work with him or her through the academic challenge, or I will find a tutor or a teacher to help my child overcome the academic obstacle.
  • I will provide positive feedback and appreciation for my child's hard work. I will not berate my child for struggling on a test or for having problems with a class.
  • I will provide healthy after-school snacks and breakfast options for my child.
  • I will allow my child the chance to tackle homework and projects without unnecessary interference. I will help when asked but will refrain from taking charge so that my child does the work on his own and learns from the experience.
  • I will stay up to date on school events, field trips and other activities.
  • I will give my child more and more independence based on his or her maturity and the circumstances.

Student's Responsibilities

  • I will keep my parents informed of school events, class projects and other school responsibilities as I learn about them.
  • I will make homework a priority and will begin my work without being told.
  • I will let my parents know if I'm falling behind in class or struggling with a subject.
  • I will let me parents know if I'm being bullied at school or on the school bus.
  • I will attempt to eat a healthy breakfast and pack a healthy lunch for school.
  • I will bring my gym clothes home weekly for washing.
  • I will not engage in dangerous practices or behaviors that could harm me such as drinking, smoking or using inhalants.
  • I will join a school club or activity that interests me.
  • I will not wait until the last minute to study for a test, write a paper or do a project.
  • I will not cheat, plagiarize or allow others to cheat off of my work.
  • I will respect my teachers and other members of the school staff.
  • If I take advanced courses I will put the time into them that they need.

Signature _____________________________ (Parent)

Signature _____________________________ (Student)

Note: Keep your contract posted someplace where you and your child can review it, if needed. That way, the contract serves as a gentle reminder to you both on school responsibilities.

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