The Foreign Service Journal, December 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2023 91 2. Prepare yourself for the testing experience. Prior to the evaluation, begin collecting documents that may be helpful to the evaluator. Items such as report cards, progress reports, and previous standardized testing results will be helpful. Also, the evaluator may ask you to complete some forms and questionnaires prior to the evaluation. Given that some of these forms take a considerable amount of time, plan ahead and attempt to have the forms completed before the examination. In addition to collecting documents, collect your thoughts. Prior to the evaluation, begin recording any concerns or thoughts that you have to share with the evaluator. This will help avoid forgetting important information when you meet with the evaluator. 3. Know everyone’s schedule when making the appointment. While it may be convenient, refrain from scheduling evaluation appointments during “special days” at school. For example, while your child may not miss academic content if the evaluation is scheduled on a school day, if the evaluation is scheduled when the class has an all-day field trip, the child may be more resistant to the evaluation. Also, if one parent is out of town or has a medical procedure planned on the same day, these kinds of events can also be disruptive to the child. 4. Have your child well rested for the evaluation. Parents should refrain from allowing their children to participate in activities such as sleepovers prior to the evaluation, and evaluations shouldn’t be scheduled on the day your family or your child returns from an outof-town experience. For example, the day after returning from summer camp may not be the best day to complete an evaluation. Instead, have your child wait a day and rest prior to the evaluation. 5. Have your child well fed and hydrated. A good breakfast and plenty to drink prior to the evaluation is beneficial. Ask the evaluator if your child can bring a snack and beverage on the day of the evaluation, as well. Some children do well when they get to have a snack at break time. After the Evaluation Feedback is one of the most important aspects of the evaluation. It provides an opportunity to not only hear the results of the evaluation but to ask questions. Ask any and every question that you may have, and bring something to record notes. If it makes you more comfortable, ask another family member to be present at the feedback session to make sure you understand all of the information that is given to you. Depending on the age of your child, there may be a child feedback session, as well. By the time children are in middle school, they are often curious regarding their performance. In addition, they may benefit from hearing that they are capable students but that they may require accommodations, different study strategies, or certain interventions to help them be as successful as possible. When you receive the written report, read through the report several times before sharing it with the school or with other professionals. This allows you to know exactly what information the school is seeing, as well as allowing you Feedback is one of the most important aspects of the evaluation.