By now, schools are used to students who have divorced parents. However, some schools and teachers are better at handling these situations than others. Still, you and your co-parent should expect a minimum of consideration from the school.
To that end, here is a look at how schools should communicate with co-parents who have legal custody of their children.
You should not have to contact, say, five people to find out how to ensure both you and your co-parent receive school communications. The policy should be clear and the process smooth. You can tell your ex how to get communications, but it is his or her responsibility to enlist for this service, not yours or the school’s.
The school should have the names and contact information of both legal parents listed on the child’s school records.
The school should send emails and mailings to both parents’ addresses. Similarly, if the school has an online login system for parents, both parents, not just one, should have the ability to access it. Parents should equally receive information about parent-teacher conferences and, if applicable, IEP meetings. If the child uses a journal, day planner or some sort of tracker, then the parent who has the child in his or her care at the moment should have access.
While many schools do well with keeping both co-parents in the loop, it does happen that information sometimes falls through the cracks or an email reaches one parent while the other parent’s email disappears in cyberspace. Thus, it helps if both co-parents communicate openly with each other too. For example, say that you got an email from your child’s teacher about a field trip lasting a few days. Part of it would be during the child’s physical time with you and part during your ex’s. To cover your bases, it is a good idea to confirm that the other parent knows what is going on.