When the child is not performing to the even to the bare minimum level expected at school, then the parents should take it up seriously. They should not scream or punish the child for doing badly but try to look for the reason for the bad performance.
The best way to get the basics of it would to be to talk to the teacher. A healthy parent-teacher communication can help the child get over the problems and be on par with the rest. Sometimes the teachers take the initiative to talk to the parents but if they miss it in their busy schedule then the parents should make the move.
The parents should set up appointment with the teacher and discuss it with them as when they feel there is a need instead waiting till the report card. It may be too late then to do anything much. The parents should express their concerns freely to the teacher and promise to support them from the home front to improve the child’s performance. This would help to uncover the child’s strengths and weakness and there by do the needful for motivation.
Some times it may come out through these discussions that the child needs more than the motivation of the parents and the teachers. Then they could be referred to the specialists for evaluation. Most of the states have systems to evaluate the children at the school through the “Child Study Team”. This Team would observe the child at the class and record their findings. They would set up diagnostic test and interview with the school psychologist to check whether they have got learning disability or any other problems. These tests can be carried out on the parent’s approval.
If there is disability and it’s found out when the children are young, it would be far easier to rectify than at a later age. So the parents should keep track of the child’s performance at the school from day one onwards.