**All Bellevue schools will be closed Monday, February 19-Friday, February 23.**
View the District Calendar
**All Bellevue schools will be closed Monday, February 19-Friday, February 23.**
View the District Calendar

Educators & families must partner to keep students growing

Every student has room for growth, no matter their grades. It’s our job, as educators and families partnering to support your student, to coach teens to challenge themselves, remain resilient and create a plan to grow.

To be good partners, we need shared information about student progress week to week.  We have several tools to do that, but none is flawless without additional problem solving and communication.

 

Inspire Incremental Growth. Changing Teen Focus Boosts Results. When teens focus on grades, the race to earn points distracts student from learning. When we teach students to pursue knowledge, skills, and steady improvement, teens enjoy learning, try harder, and still get better grades.
Click to download.

Tools using Synergy

Students, educators, and families use to Synergy to share three basic pieces of information:

  • current overall grade,
  • attendance, and
  • missing or ungraded assignments (which may be bringing the overall grade down).

Unfortunately, Synergy can’t tell families if the student has submitted retakes or revisions that would impact the grade. We need additional communication for that.

 

Teams Adds More Tools

Note: With the return to in-person learning, the use of this tool varies among teachers.

Last April, we added Teams to our teaching and communication tools. Over time, we began using more of the features in Teams. One of those is Assignments, which helps students manage their work with reminders.

Teams provides some of the same assignment completion information as Synergy, but it’s more of an organizational tool for students. It provides limited information about completion and sends reminder emails to students and their families.

Keep in mind when you get reminders that assignments may be complete, but Teams doesn’t collect and submit that work until the student clicks the “Turn In” button for each assignment. The teacher can’t access the work until the student clicks “Turn in.”

 

Reconciling confusion & problem solving

Synergy and Teams can alert families when their student begins to struggle. The next step—reconciling what the Synergy gradebook and Teams reminders report with the student’s perception of their status—takes additional communication.

One strategy that helps students and families see the same picture of grades, assignments, and student progress takes a problem-solving approach.

 

You and your student don’t see the same snapshot of your teen’s current grade status. Why?

Here are a few solutions you might explore with your student:

  • First explore procedural problems that could make the written record look different from your student’s perception.
    • Did your student check that “Turn in” was clicked on all assignments completed?
    • Did the student click “Turn in” before completing the entire assignment. Teams saves the work if the student needs to return later to complete, review, and revise before submitting. Your student shouldn’t click “Turn in” until they have done all they can with the assignment.
    • Did your student complete revisions or retakes within the last two weeks that may not be posted yet?
    • Ask student to describe class procedures and help them problem solve.
    • Watch the teacher’s Curriculum Night video for hints about class procedures.

 

  • If the student is not sure if all work and revisions have been entered in Synergy, your student has options to work with the teacher.
    • Asking questions during class. Many students don’t feel comfortable asking questions. It’s a skill they need to succeed in United States education practices. Ask a favorite teacher or your counselor for help in developing this skill.
    • Check the teachers five-minute FlipGrid video from Curriculum Night.
    • Email the teacher to find out why the student’s perception doesn’t match the grade book.
      • Review with your student both the email they send and the response.
        • Email to teacher: Help your student be specific, for example:
          • which assignments they think are missing or have been revised.
          • describe which part of the assignment is giving them the most trouble.
        • Response from teacher:
          • Ask your student to show you any assignments the teacher reports as missing. Check the “Turn In” button on each.
          • Work together on follow-up questions, requests for help, or other next steps.
        • Check here to find the teacher’s Curriculum Night video, five minutes.
        • Help your student prepare questions about the assignment that will help them continue to grow. Pick one thing that your student can focus on to become a better student. Ask the teacher for suggestions if needed. (See What Went Well tool below.)

After your family eliminates any recordkeeping issues

It may be that your student is struggling to be candid about their progress in class—with themselves or with you or both. If that’s the case, shift your conversation to one of these tools.

  • Notice Name and Navigate (see illustration above for specific steps) can help teens understand why they are avoiding their struggles in class. Learn more about Notice, Name, Navigate on our website.
  • What Went Well (see illustration below for specific steps) can help your student build the confidence and hope to face challenges and take steps toward growth. While no one succeeds at everything all the time, all our student have great capacity for growth, one step at a time. Learn more about What Went Well on our website.
  • Additional family coaching tools on our website:

 

If your family needs help to set up a plan for growth, please ask for help.

  • Start with the teacher, but don’t stop there if you need more help.
  • Guidance counselors work with students to build their resilience and plan to improve.
  • Our administrative staff also wants to help, bring them into the conversation if progress stalls.
The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.