Dr. Christine Johns

Home » Teaching and Learning » Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parents and teachers will be sitting down this month for the first of two scheduled conferences. These important meetings are aimed at furthering the home-school partnership and ensuring students are meeting the shared expectations of both parents and teachers.
Study after study has shown that effective school-family partnerships are an important key to student achievement. This is certainly the case in Utica Community Schools, where our principals report ninety percent or higher parent participation in conferences.
The conferences are held during the fall after the first marking period and in the spring during the third marking period. Both provide avenues to make sure students are on track and experiencing academic success in our schools.
It is important that we take advantage of this opportunity to focus on how parents and teachers can support the unique needs of each student.
To promote successful conferences, national education and parent organizations have a few simple suggestions:

•Before the conference, it is important to think about the academic goals for your child. If age appropriate, you can also talk to your children about how they feel they are doing in school. Also, teachers need to be aware if there is anything unusual about your child’s approach to school this year.
•During the conference, UCS teachers will share information on how students progressed through the first marking period. Discussions will center on whether the student is meeting expectations and educational strategies that can be supported by parents and teachers. It is important that the conferences end on a positive note with concrete actions at both school and home that allow our students to meet their full potential.
•After the conferences, it is important that parents keep in touch about the progress of their child. Parents have a great tool at their fingertips in PowerSchool. Regular updates and visits to this site provide parents updated information on progress and attendance.
In addition to PowerSchool, our schools and district have active Web and social media sites that contain calendar dates, school and district activities, and news that celebrates the many successes of our remarkable students. Your participation in activities demonstrates to your child the priority you place on his or her education.

Most importantly, if – at any time – you have any questions or concerns, your teachers and principals are only a phone call or e-mail away.
We appreciate the tremendous amount of support we receive from our parents and school community during conferences and throughout the busy school year. We look forward to seeing you in our schools over these next few weeks in support of your child’s continued academic success.

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