Supporting Your Student at Home 

Learn what your children are learning in school and find ways to support them at home.

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Students do better in school and in life when their parents are engaged in their education. One of the most important roles a family can play in the success of their children is to support their learning in the home.

The resources in this section help families understand what their students are learning in school, and provide guidance for supporting that learning at home.

Parent Teacher Conference Day 

Use this checklist before, during and after Parent Teacher Conferences to make sure you get the most out of this time with your child’s teacher. The checklist is also available in Amharic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Vietnamese

What Your child is Learning in School (K-5)

The Office of Family and Public Engagement and the Office of Teaching and Learning collaborated to create this resource to help you know 1) what your child is learning in school 2) what you can do to support that learning at home.

Here is how you can use the Family Curriculum Guides:

  • Find the guide that corresponds with your child's grade and follow along! One side of the guide tells you what is being taught in all the core subjects throughout the year. On the other side you'll find great ideas for fun and easy ways to support classroom learning at home and in your neighborhood
  • Share with another family at your school, church or Cub Scout Troop


First Grade
First Grade- Spanish

Second Grade
Second Grade- Spanish

Third Grade
Third Grade- Spanish

Fourth Grade
Fourth Grade- Spanish

Fifth Grade
Fifth Grade- Spanish

Every Day Counts - How to talk to your child about why attendance is important

Attending school every day and on time significantly increases your child’s chances of succeeding in school and graduating from high school....Every day counts!

Parents and Caregivers of Elementary School Students
It’s important to start talking with your children about the importance getting to school on time every day. Here’s why being at school every day counts.

  • Starting in kindergarten, too many absences [PDF] can cause students to fall behind in school.1
  • Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) can make it harder to learn to read.2
  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.1

What you can do:

  1. Come up with a routine and stick to it!
  2. Come up with back up plans for how to get your child to school if something comes up.
  3. If you are experiencing tough times (e.g. transportation, unstable housing, loss of a job, health problems) set up an attendance meeting with your school.
  4. If your child is absent, work with the teacher to learn how you can help review the work that was missed.

Parent Guide: Build the Habit of Good Attendance Early (Source: Attendance Works)

Infographic: The importance of attendance in the early grades  (Source: Attendance Works)

Parents and Caregivers of Middle and High School Students
Even as children grow up and become more independent, it is still important to reinforce the importance of being at school on time every day and attending every class. Here’s why being at school every day counts.

  • Sixth-grade students who are chronically absent [PDF] are less likely to graduate.3 Learn more.
  • A ninth grader who misses more than nine days per semester is less likely to graduate.4 Learn more.
  • A high school graduate earns at least $9,000 per year more than a high school dropout.5

What you can do:

  1. Talk to your child about the importance of regular attendance. Remind them that students who attend school regularly are more likely to graduate and find good jobs. In fact, a high school graduate makes, on average, a million dollars more than a dropout over a lifetime.
  2. Want your child to see the effect of missing class and how it affects graduating on time? Check out this interactive attendance tool.
  3. If your child is skipping class, contact the school as set up a meeting with the attendance counselor.

Parent Guide: Keep Your Child On Track in Middle and High School  (Source: Attendance Works)

Additional resources


1 Attendance Works and Reach Out and Read, Inc.
2 ECLS-K data analyzed by National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP)
Baltimore Education Research Consortium SY 2009-2010
Allensworth & Easton, What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools, Consortium on Chicago School Research at University of Chicago, July 2007
5 US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). The Condition of Education 2011 (NCES 2011–033), Table A-17-1.

What does the Common Core mean for your child?

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)In the classroom, our educators are ready and waiting to give all students the knowledge and skills needed for success in college, careers, and life.

We believe that a combination of excellent teaching, strong standards, and active student and family participation combine into a potent recipe for success.

Since we are committed to providing our students with a rigorous education, DC has joined 40+ other states and five territories in adopting a new set of standards, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

These standards lay out what students should know and be able to do in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The new standards will help parents, teachers and community members understand what students should learn each year. 

Also, because so many states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, we will be able to compare our students’ achievements to those of students around the country. Adopting the Common Core State Standards will have a major impact on the quality of education we provide our students.

Learn more:      

Videos for Parents: What are Common Core State Standards?

Common Core State Standards in 30 seconds

Common Core State Standards in 3 minutes

To view the captions for this video, click the “CC” icon in the lower-right of the video screen.



Video de Treinta Segundos que se Explica las Estándares Estatales de Common Core

Video de Tres Minutos que se Explica las Estándares Estatales de Common Core

LearnZillion Webinar for Parents and Families: Winter Break Tips for Keeping Your Child on Track

LearnZillion, a DCPS partner, is a website that gets parents up-to-speed on what their child is learning and supports this knowledge in practical ways, including fun video lessons and quizzes to check for understanding. 

The Parents’ Guide to Student Success

The National Parent Teacher Association have developed helpful guides for parents and families that include:

  • key items that children learn in English language arts and Mathematics in each grade
  • activities that parents can do at home to support their child's learning
  • methods for helping parents build stronger relationships with their child's teacher, and
  • tips for planning for college and career (high school only).

Guides are available for in English and in Spanish (Grades Kindergarten through high school).

Parent Road Maps for Supporting Student Learning at Home

DCPS and Council of Great City Schools produced a helpful brochure for parents and families that includes:

  • a simple explanation of what DCPS students learn in English Language Arts and in Mathematics,
  • explain how teachers might approach those subjects in the classroom, and
  • provide ideas for how families can support learning in these subjects at home.

Each brochure is specific to a grade level and subject, so you can easily find support that is right for your child. Brochures are available in English (Grades Kindergarten through 8) and in Spanish (Grades Kindergarten through 5).


Kindergarten Kindergarten Kindergarten Kindergarten
Grade 1 Grade 1 Grado 1 Grado 1
Grade 2 Grade 2 Grado 2 Grado 2
Grade 3 Grade 3 Grado 3 Grado 3
Grade 4 Grade 4 Grado 4 Grado 4
Grade 5 Grade 5 Grado 5 Grado 5
Grade 6 Grade 6 Grado 6 Grado 6
Grade 7 Grade 7 Grado 7 Grado 7
Grade 8 Grade 8 Grado 8 Grado 8
High School High School High School High School


Activities to Support Student Learning at Home

These are activities developed by DCPS you can do at home to support students in English Language Arts and in Mathematics for grades Kindergarten through five. 

These activities are designed to strengthen skills in some of the key learning standards. Each activity includes an explanation of the target skill and instructions on engaging in the activity with children.  

These simple activities are a fun way to support what students are learning in school. 

MATHEMATICS [Word documents] ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS [Word documents]
K Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 K Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5
Activity 1 Activity 1 Activity 1 Activity 1 Activity 1 Activity 1 Activity 1 Activity 1 Activity 1 Activity 1 Activity 1 Activity 1
Activity 2 Activity 2 Activity 2 Activity 2 Activity 2              
Activity 3 Activity 3 Activity 3 Activity 3 Activity 3              
Activity 4 Activity 4   Activity 4                
  Activity 5                    
  Activity 6                    


DCPS Scope and Sequence Documents

These documents show what students learn in English Language Arts and in Mathematics.

Teachers use these documents to plan what students learn, and when they will learn it in grades Kindergarten through high school.


Discover Education

We are excited to announce Discovery Education for DCPS.  Your student now has access to high quality, dynamic digital content/videos that will enhance the classroom experience (Pre-K and CE students do not have logins at this time - we are working to get them into the system.)  Videos and interactive virtual lessons are aligned to state standards. There is also a “Homework Help” page, especially for parents.

To login in to Discovery Education:

  • Make sure you have your child’s DCPS Student ID number and birthdate ready.
  • Go to
  • Username: 7-digit student ID # (Ex. 1234567)
  • Password: 8-digit birthdate (Ex. September 24, 2008 would be 092408)
  • If you or your child are having trouble logging in, add the number zero after their student ID (Ex. If 1234567 does not work try 12345670)
  • Contact via email for any questions regarding Discovery Education.


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