Parent Guide to Student Success

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Supporting Students at Home

Thank you for partnering with us in your child’s education. Collaborative efforts between teachers, school staff, and parents are vital to ensuring student success. To support your child’s learning efforts at home, it’s important that you understand our statewide academic standards, the Iowa Core. These standards guide instruction to help all students succeed at meeting common grade-level learning outcomes in mathematics, literacy, science, social studies, and 21st Century skills.  

The Iowa Department of Education has developed tips to help parents work with students at home to support the instruction happening in our schools. This webpage gathers the tips for each grade level and/or subject in one easy-to-use resource parents can access as a guide to help your child succeed.  

Why Are Academic Standards Important?  

Academic standards are important because they help ensure that all students, no matter where they live or what school they attend, are prepared for success in college and the workforce. They help set clear and consistent expectations for what students should know and be able to do from kindergarten through 12th grade. Standards are a set of goals, not a curriculum, so decisions about teaching remain with local schools. High standards help teachers and parents work together to ensure students succeed. They guide parents and teachers to know when students need extra assistance or when they need more of a challenge in the classroom. They also help your child develop critical-thinking skills that will prepare him or her for college and career opportunities. 

Guide to Student Success – Tips for Parents 

The links below provide an overview of what your child will learn by the end of each grade level, as directed by the Iowa Core. Follow the links to learn helpful tips on how to support learning at home. By fulfilling the learning goals outlined in the Iowa Core, students will be prepared to transition from one grade to the next and eventually graduate with the skills needed to be successful in life and work.   

Elementary – Tips by Grade 

First Grade
Second Grade 
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade 

Middle School – Tips by Core Subject 

English Language Arts
Social Studies

High School – Tips by Core Subject 

English Language Arts
Social Studies

Source: Iowa Core Parent Guides from the Iowa Department of Education.