Spring conferences are almost here and we want to be sure parents are aware of the unique elements associated with the 2021 spring conference schedule. First, please note that given the modifications made to this year’s school calendar, both conference days (March 31st and April 1st) are half-days for all students. On each of these days, students will be dismissed at 12:00pm – teachers will be conferencing with families throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Friday, April 2nd is a non-student day.

Teachers at both Deer Park Elementary and Arcadia are presently reaching out to families and sharing information about how they can schedule a conference time. Both DPMS and DPHS are hosting student-led conferences on March 31st and April 1st and have shared information with families; this information is also posted on each building website. Of course, even though we’re seeing significant decline in COVID infection rates, in order to keep everyone safe we ask that anyone experiencing signs of illness please stay home. Cloth masks are required for everyone entering the building and we’ll also remain steadfast (in every building and room) in observing the 6ft physical distancing requirement.

If parents are unable to meet in person or simply feel better about scheduling an online meeting, please be sure to let your teacher(s) know and they’ll be happy to provide you with a Zoom link so you can connect online. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher – the link between home and school is a key factor in student success.

Additionally, as a regular part of our parent/teacher conferences, teachers may be asking you to participate in a short survey to gather feedback regarding the structure and value of conferences. We would greatly appreciate your insight and look forward to using the information we collect to ensure that our conferences meet your needs and provide you with helpful information about your child’s progress.

So, in review, conference week officially begins on Wednesday, March 31st, and the schedule is as follows:

  • On Wednesday, March 31st, students will be dismissed around 12:00 (please check with the main office of the school your child attends for exact dismissal time). Conferences will occur throughout the afternoon and into the evening hours.
  • Thursday, April 1st is also a half-day for all students as teachers will be engaged in parent/teacher conferences or in student-led conferences throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
  • Friday, April 2nd is a non-student day and the following week (April 5-9) is Spring Break.

 


 

Here are some strategies to maximize the value of your conference:

Conferences are valuable for students, parents, and teachers:

For students, the parent-teacher conference provides an opportunity to reinforce positive attitudes and behavior.  The facts are overwhelming, students whose parents are interested and involved in the student’s school experience are far more likely to achieve at high levels.  For teachers, conferences create a unique and personal opportunity to establish a positive partnership in the student’s learning.  Teachers often come away from conferences saying they learned a great deal by interacting with the child’s parents.

For parents, conferences offer the opportunity to sit one to one with the teacher and talk about their child. Conferences help parents build a better understanding of the daily routines and expectations in the classroom. This is an important opportunity for parents to get a snapshot of their child as a learner and ask questions about how to help at home.  If you have a serious concern about an area of academic growth, be sure to let the teacher know.  Your child’s teacher(s) will be happy to share strategies and ideas to increase success and self-assurance.

Teachers put a great deal of work and time into preparation for these conferences. They are eager to help your child be the best he/she can be. Your support is vital in creating the best possible educational experience for your child.

In order to make your conference experience the best it can be, we’ve provided some questions you might want to ask.  Additionally, we’ve also suggested some things you might want to tell the teacher about your child.

Things you may want to ask the teacher:

    •   How is my child doing academically?
    •   Does my child participate in classroom activities?
    •   Does he/she show self-control in school?
    •   Can my child work independently, or does he/she need supervision?
    •   How does my child get along with classmates?
    •   How is my child handling grade-level learning materials?
    •   Has my child shown any special interests or abilities?
    •   How can I help my child at home?
    •   Does my child express thoughts and ideas clearly?
    •   Does my child seem to be happy in school?

 

Things you may want to tell the teacher:

    •   Which school activities your child talks about most while at home.
    •   What responsibilities your child handles at home.
    •   If anything has happened lately at home that might affect your child’s performance at school.
    •   Whether or not your child willingly communicates and completes homework assignments.
    •   What you believe are your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

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