What Is My Role as a Carroll Parent?

What Is My Role as a Carroll Parent?
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog
Listen to Renée read this article aloud.


What is my role as a Carroll parent? What can or should I do to support my child? I’m asked this question often, particularly among families new to our community.

I’m happy to provide a concrete answer.

Many families come to us from schools in which their children weren’t learning and may have felt crummy about themselves. When you raised the alarm bell, your voices went unheard. In response, maybe you became a vocal advocate, a tireless homework helper, a cheerleader, a steady ear for your child’s frustrations. Maybe you sat in silence and suffered, trying to understand your rights and options.

Now you’re at Carroll and, in many ways, the role we ask you to assume requires adopting some new and different—seemingly contradictory—habits. Some of these practices will sound unsettling, even risky. But stick to them, and you will be serving your child in their journey through Carroll in the best possible way.

Trust us—I appreciate how scary it feels for parents to place their trust in us—in our process and approach—especially when they and their child have been scarred by prior educational experiences. But I urge you to do just that. Trust that we are giving your child exactly what they need to grow and thrive. Carroll has successfully educated children with LBLDs for well over a half century. We have faith in our approach. You can, too.

What Is My Role As a Carroll Parent?

Communicate with us—The more we know about your child and your family, the better we can partner to ensure a successful outcome. Parent-teacher conferences are just one opportunity for us to learn more about where you notice your child struggling at home, or how they are adjusting to a new learning plan we may have recommended.

Have patience—We go as fast as we can and as slow as we need to. Every child responds to new learning interventions differently. We don’t impose a timeline on progress.

Encourage reading—Homework should no longer be a battleground. You can leave that part to us. Instead, focus on nurturing a daily reading routine at home, whether that’s designated family reading time, you read aloud to your child, your child reads aloud, or your child listens to an audiobook.

Reinforce interests and skills outside of school—For children with dyslexia, the school day is taxing. Even at Carroll, the days are filled with productive struggle. During after-school hours, it’s important that they reset by practicing a skill or pursuing an interest that brings them confidence and joy.

Nurture social connection—Separating from an old school and friend group can be painful for kids, socially and emotionally. Help them to stay connected to their old friends while at the same time building new connections within the Carroll community. Our Parents’ Association and parent grade reps are tremendous assets, organizing activities and events to help ensure all our students feel engaged, accepted, and experience belonging.

What Is My Role As a Carroll Parent?

Contribute to our culture of giving—Now that you can rest assured knowing that your children are in good hands at Carroll, we invite you to redirect your energy towards strengthening our school community. Whether through giving of your time, advocacy work, or philanthropy, together we can maximize our impact and best support your children.

Use the word dyslexia—Many schools prefer not to utter the word, so I recognize that it may feel jarring initially to arrive at Carroll, where we embrace it, celebrate it, and talk about dyslexia. We encourage you to do the same at home. Talk about it with your child, even explore your family history and discuss the experiences of others. October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month, but at Carroll, the conversation and awareness—the growth—occurs every single day, with each and every child.



Recent Posts

A Conversation with Dr. Sharon Saline on Dyslexia, ADHD, and Executive Function
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

More than half of Carroll’s student population has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and/or executive function (EF) challenges, in addition to a language-based learning difference (LBLD). Often, it’s hard to tell which one is at play. How can parents and educators make sense of it all? Clinical psychologist Dr. Sharon Saline answers a few of Dr. Renée Greenfield's questions.

What Is My Role As a Carroll Parent?
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

What is my role as a Carroll parent? What can or should I do to support my child? I’m asked this question often, particularly among families new to our community. I’m happy to provide a concrete answer.

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Critical to Student Outcomes
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

At Carroll, our approach to parent-teacher conferences is purposeful and straightforward, and leads to some pretty impactful conferences and, in turn, student outcomes. Learn how conferences are designed to support students throughout the school year and beyond.

Science of Reading Orton-Gillingham Tutor
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

What’s the best way to teach kids how to read? The reading debate has been simmering for decades. Recently, thanks to a newly named body of research exploring the science of reading, it has captured news headlines. Don’t get me wrong. I’m delighted by today’s energized discussion over how best to teach kids to read. It’s one of the most important conversations we can have as a nation. Here's what I'd like us to pay attention to instead.

Pandemic Lessons: Carroll Learning Data Reveals Student Resilience
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Late last month, the journal Nature Human Behavior published the largest, most comprehensive, global study to date on learning progress two-and-a-half years into the pandemic. The results—based on data provided from 15 countries (excluding low-income nations)—were sobering. In short, kids worldwide experienced learning deficits equal to ⅓ of a school year. What’s more, now nearly three years out, evidence suggests those deficits still haven’t been recovered. The story for Carroll students—I’m pleased to say—is different.

9 Carroll Successes in 2022
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Every chance they get, Carroll educators celebrate student victories, big and small. By doing so, they foster joy not simply in what was accomplished, but in all the learning that is yet to come. Following their lead, and in the spirit of year-end reflection, I’ve created my own highlight reel of successes and sources of pride—in no particular order—from 2022. It feels important to pause and take stock of the tremendously meaningful work we engage in at Carroll. What’s more, writing it down has made me even more excited for all that lies ahead in 2023!

The Upside of Struggle
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

The first time I heard the phrase “productive struggle” was in graduate school. I was in a math methods course, slogging through some pretty tough concepts. My professor was doing her best to encourage us, reassuring us that floundering, muddling through, and making mistakes were hardly signs of failure. In fact, in these very lurching efforts were the seeds of profound learning. Little did I know, more than two decades later, the notion of productive struggle would be foundational to my work, and to the work of all Carroll educators.

Dyslexia 1 in 5 students
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Last month, Massachusetts passed a momentous and long-awaited piece of legislation requiring schools to screen young students for dyslexia and other learning differences at least twice a year. Beginning on July 1, 2023, this right-to-read legislation will combat an entrenched wait-to-fail approach in the state’s public schools. Why should this matter to the Carroll community?