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Parenting Students with ADHD: 4 Emails To Send Before The Semester Ends (2023)

Updated: May 5, 2023

Near the end of the semester is when many parents who have students with ADHD end up signing up for executive function coaching services.


Why?


They received the progress report grades and teacher comments that often include feedback like this:


Needs to turn in missing assignments
Needs to participate more in class
Needs to improve quality of work

And when parents try to talk to their student about the progress report, they often get a response somewhere along these lines:


I’ve got it covered.
Stop breathing down my neck!
All you care about is school!

This isn’t your first rodeo.


You know that waiting until the end of the semester to address these issues is a “hail mary” play that will drop the ball which means:


  • Repeating classes

  • Summer school

  • A not-so-relaxed winter break

  • Lowered self-esteem of your child


Here are 4 emails you and your student can send before the end of the semester if they want to raise their grades, improve relationships with teachers, and end the semester on a good note.


Four email templates that have email subjects geared toward parents with ADHD and executive function challenges.
4 Emails You Need To Send In Before the End of the Semester For Your Student With ADHD

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White background with blue images of student climbing to reach their goal
Subject of email #1: Meeting My Goal For This Semester

Subject of email #1: Meeting My Goal For This Semester

(Sent by: Student)


Have you heard the concept of “managing your boss”?


Instead of waiting for your boss to give you feedback, go directly to them and control the narrative about your work performance.


Tell them what projects you are working on, what your goals are and ask your boss if they have any suggestions or feedback to make sure you are aligned with their vision.


Students can employ this strategy to manage their teachers by using this email template.


And when they do this, they will with 100% certainty end up with better grades, while also learning a valuable lesson they can apply in their transition to adulthood and professional careers.


Also, teachers LOVE getting this email because the student is showing initiative, rather than expecting the teacher to spoon feed them next steps.


I always tell students, don’t write “I want to get a grade,” tell your teacher you want to “earn it.”


Why?


Teachers always say I didn’t “give” you the grade, you “earned” it.


This email brings a plan to the table, rather than putting the cognitive load on an overburdened and overworked teacher managing grades for 150 other students.


Hello,


I hope you are doing well. I noticed that my grade in your class is currently a (grade). My goal is to earn a (desired grade). My plan is to complete the following assignments in this order:


  1. Assignment you will complete first

  2. Assignment you will complete second

  3. Assignment you will complete third


Is there anything else you suggest I do to work toward my goal of earning (desired grade) in your class?


Will I be able to earn full credit if I complete these and submit them to you by (choose date)?


Thank you for your guidance,


(Your Name)


To make this easy, have your student bcc each of their teachers when sending this, rather than creating a separate email for each teacher.


If they want to make it even easier, they can create an email group for their teachers by following these instructions.


White background with image of calendar and clock with words IEP and 504 on it
Subject of email #2: Scheduling A (504 or IEP) Meeting

Subject of email #2: Scheduling A (504 or IEP) Meeting

(Sent by: Parent)


As a parent, you have disproportionately powerful rights (when compared to the school) in the IEP and 504 process, but unless you use them, you lose them.


One of the most important muscles to flex in the IEP and 504 process is calling more meetings to check in on your student’s progress.


You DO NOT have to wait for the annual IEP or 504 meeting to share that the accommodations or services provided are not working or need to be tweaked.


You can request an IEP meeting for any reason, at any time.


Yes, you need to state a reason which could be as brief as, “I’d like to review the document with the IEP team.


Once you submit that in writing, the school is obligated to hold the meeting within 30 days.


Here is how you can ask for that:



Hello (Special Education Teacher / Coordinator),


I am requesting an (IEP/504) meeting regarding the program for my student, (their name).


I would like to (review the document, address some concerns, etc). I understand that I will be involved in scheduling so I can participate fully as an equal member of the (IEP/504) team and that I will be notified in writing when a meeting is arranged.


I look forward to discussing my specific concerns:


  • (add specific concerns here).

  • (add specific concerns here).

  • (add specific concerns here).


Thank you for your support. If you have any questions please connect with me at (phone number) or (email address).


Sincerely,


Your Name


Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.


The more you keep your child’s at the top of mind for their school team, the more support they will get.


If you don’t want to compose the same message every time you want to call a meeting, use the templates feature on Gmail.


White background with images of students studying for end of semester
Subject of email #3: Preparing For End Of Semester

Subject of email #3: Preparing For End Of Semester

(Sent by: Student)


How many times has your middle, high school or college student got stuck trying to frantically complete a semester-long project in the last week of school.


Which leads to more yelling in the house...


And more punishments being doled out over winter break...


And then you are right back in school when January starts.


With this email, your student can prevent that time management disaster and chunk out those big tests and projects that can be completed before the semester ends.


Hello,


I hope you are doing well.


I am preparing for the end of the semester, and I want to make sure I plan effectively for any cumulative projects or exams that I may have overlooked.


I am already aware of the following projects and exams and this is how I am preparing for it:


  1. Name of project or exam and how you are preparing for it

  2. Name of project or exam and how you are preparing for it

  3. Name of project or exam and how you are preparing for it


Would you let me know if there are any other large projects or exams that I can begin working on now?


Additionally, could you please direct me to any resources that will help me prepare for these upcoming projects or exams (study guides, practice tests, etc)?


Lastly, is there anything else you suggest I do toward reaching my goal of earning a (grade you want) in your class?


Thank you for your guidance,


(Your name)


Again, make it easy for your student to use this email over and over by showing them how to bcc each of their teachers when sending this AND showing them how to save it as a template.


White background with blue images of man checking off IEP goals on document
Subject of email #4: Progress Updates On IEP Goals

Subject of email #4: Progress Updates On IEP Goals

(Sent by: Parent)


As a former public school special education teacher, I can tell you that your child’s case manager is probably waiting until the last week of school to write progress updates on their IEP goal.


What is the problem with that?


The problem with that is it means they (usually) don’t spend the time to design activities and assessments that can spur progress toward those IEP goals.


To counteract this stagnation, send this note in at least 30 days before the semester ends to each of the specialists who are providing a service for your child’s goal(s):


Hello,


I hope you are doing well.


I am looking forward to your update this semester on how my child is progressing toward reaching the IEP goal(s) you are supporting them on:


(copy goal here)


Would you tell me what approaches you are using to help my child reach these goals?


Additionally, is there anything I can do to support this work?


Thank you for your guidance,


(Your name)


If your child has goals in different areas (for example a counseling goal and an executive function goal), then email each different provider requesting updates.

And if you are looking for ideas on goals related to executive function skills for your child, check this out or visit this page to have a copy sent to your email.


4 IEP Goals For Executive Function on a pink graphic organizer
4 IEP Goals for Executive Function

Other Ways To Make The Most of Ends-of-Semester From Our Team of Executive Function Specialists


Experienced Executive Function Specialist, Stephanie Bayona shared:


After the first quarter of the semester, I like to have my students do a reflection exercise to discuss what worked well (celebrate wins!) and what didn't (maybe what goals they didn't meet).


The focus is not on what they did wrong, but how they can learn from it and what changes need to be made moving forward.


We use that information to make a new plan for the second quarter or second half of the semester.


Conclusion


It’s not enough to read this article.


Go take action!


If you are a parent of a child with executive functioning challenges, send these emails, or share them with your child’s executive function coach so they can help with the process.


And lastly, did these work for you?


Let me know in the comments below.


About the author


Sean G. McCormick is a parent, husband and international executive function coach.


He is the founder of Executive Function Specialists, an online coaching business which guides middle, high school, and college students in overcoming procrastination, disorganization and anxiety by teaching time management, prioritization and communication skills so they feel motivated, prepared, and empowered.


He has also spoken about executive function at prominent venues including the Association of Educational Therapists' National Conference (2021), The Executive Function Online Summit (TEFOS 2022) and at Marin County Psychological Association.


Sean is regularly featured across media channels for his expertise on executive function, ADHD and special education.

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EFS started with one teacher deciding that kids with ADHD needed better access to quality executive function coaching services. Since then, we have grown to a team of specialists working both private students and public schools to enhance executive function skills for all students. 

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