How to Handle a Poor Report Card

Guidance counselors call it judgment day. Teachers say the worst type of card to bring home is when the parent has no idea their child is failing or getting low marks, but counselors say it can be a good time to get involved with your student.

On a day-to-day basis a student’s overall work ethic comes down to the report card. For some kids, this piece of paper can be hard to handle and even harder to hand over to mom and dad.

For 25 years, guidance counselor Ray Alexander has helped kids make it through report card day or “judgment day” as he calls it. Alexander says there's no set rule when it comes to facing a bad or good report card.

"Some parents might reward their kids for good grades? Is this okay? Doesn't work for every student but for some who taste success if doing poorly perfect thing to do," says Ray Alexander, guidance counselor at Deerlake Middle School.

Eighth grader Macklyn Bradford says he doesn't need the money to stay motivated. He says he'd still pull in A's without the payoff. While good report cards are easy to handle, it's the unexpected ones, the ones where parents thought their kids were getting A’s but instead they’re bringing home D’s, that can be tough to touch.

Parents at Deerlake don't have to wait until report card day to track their child’s progress, the school web grades is a computer system where parents can log on from home daily and check up on their child's progress, see if they turned in their homework, or how they scored on their last quiz.

School officials say a good way to handle a poor report card is by scheduling a parent teacher conference and include the child that way the student will get the impression you care rather than they are being punished.