During the first conference teachers are anxious to learn more about their students from a parent's perspective and hear of goals parents feel are appropriate for the current school year. Teachers also discuss their plans and goals and share observations of your child in a school setting. The second conference period is an opportunity to reflect on the first half of the school year, revisit goals talked about in November and plan for the last half of the year. Your attendance and input at each conference is very important to us.
Some helpful hints for Parent Teacher conferences:
Start thinking about questions before the conference. One way to get ideas is by talking to your son or daughter. A question you might ask is how she/he feels about school and her/his own abilities.
- Some basic questions you might ask a staff member include:
- How is my child doing in class?
- What are his/her strengths?
- Is she/he having any problems?
- How can I/our family help at home?
- How well does my child work independently and in a group?
- Are school work and homework assignments being completed as expected?
- Let the teacher and staff know your concerns
Whatever the purpose of your meeting, you need to discuss your concerns with staff. It is very difficult, if not impossible; to address concerns you may have if they are not brought to the attention of your child's teacher or to the counselor Mrs. Batsel. If, for instance, your child doesn't seem to get along with other students or your child seems uninterested in schoolwork, let your child's teacher or the school counselor's know this so she/he can work with you to address your concerns and those of your child.
Disappointment over grades and problems in school is a natural reaction. If a child comes home very upset his/her emotions can color the explanation of incidents at school. Take the time to help your child share the problem accurately and then clarify your understanding by discussing the incident with the appropriate teacher. By remaining calm until you have all the information, you can avoid a situation, which causes a strain in the home-school partnership. If for some reason the issue is not resolved through discussion with your child's teacher, discuss the matter with Mr. Weisgerber the school Principal.
Please don't feel like you must wait for a problem to contact your child's teacher. In fact, teachers appreciate it when you make an effort to write, e-mail or call them. The key is to establish an early positive relationship with your child's teacher so that it is easier for you to talk with and understand each other if a real concern does arise. To contact a child's teacher, please send a note asking the teacher to call, leave a message with the office secretary or send an e-mail. Teachers and classroom schedules are not interrupted during the school day for phone calls. The teacher will return your call as soon as possible. Sometimes this may mean that, due to prior commitments, the teacher will not be able to return your phone call until the next day. We encourage you to contact the teacher as soon as questions or concerns arise.
Parent questions and concerns should first be directed to the classroom teacher. Your child's teacher has the most contact and, therefore, knowledge about your child and what occurs in school on a daily basis. Arrange for a conference through a phone call to the office as noted above, so that both you and your child's teacher have the opportunity to openly share information. You may also want to schedule some type of follow up meeting or conversation to further understand how your concerns are being addressed. If a concern remains after these contacts, or if there is a concern outside the realm of the classroom, please notify the classroom teacher of your intent to contact other appropriate staff Mrs. Batsel (counselor) or Mr. Weisgerber (principal) or Mrs. English (VP) for assistance in handling a particular situation or problem. A meeting or conversation may then be scheduled to further review your concern. Meetings with administration will often include the classroom teacher to facilitate resolution of an issue. In those rare instances where the issue is still not resolved, parents may choose to bring the concern or question to the attention of the Superintendent. As a last resort, after working with the school staff, a parent may bring the issue to the attention of the School Board.