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 often 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. Before you know it, your child may be 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.

One way to avoid these problems is to have a school contract in place at the beginning of the school year.

A parent-student contract can help you and your student stay focused and start communicating about any challenges they face, now and in the future. It also serves as a reminder of the responsibilities each of you has regarding their school work. 

A Sample Parent-Child School Contract

Below is a sample school contract that you and your teen may use. You can alter it to suit your particular situation. Be sure to update the contract as needed, when circumstances and challenges change.

Keep your contract posted someplace where both of you can review it if needed. The contract can serve as a gentle reminder to everyone about their school responsibilities.

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 can return them promptly to the school.
  • I will periodically review my child's homework in order to make sure he isn't having difficulties.
  • If my child needs assistance, I will work with him 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 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 my 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.

Signature _____________________________ (Parent)

Signature _____________________________ (Student)

A Word From Verywell

This simple parent-student contract can do wonders for improving your child's performance at school. By showing them that you are taking on responsibilities as well, it reinforces the idea that they are not alone. It's a small step that is worth trying for a variety of school related challenges.

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