Postcards for parents

It’s finally that time of year again. With first quarter coming to an end and fall break quickly approaching, teachers have begun preparing for parent-teacher conferences.

Parent-teacher conferences generally take place once a semester and usually in the days that precede the end of first and third quarter. This year, first semester conferences will be held on Wednesday, October 9th and Thursday, October 10th from 4:00 – 7:30 p.m.

According to Associate Principal Mrs. Marty Davis, these conferences provide a unique opportunity for struggling students to sit down with their parents and teachers in order to figure out a plan for improvement.

“Students learn to become advocates for themselves,” said Ms. Davis. “We are able to hear directly from them what their specific needs may be.”

Parents typically attend conferences on a voluntary basis depending on whether or not they feel the need to discuss their child’s academic progress throughout the quarter. If deemed necessary, teachers send out postcards to parents of specific students who they may have concerns about. Teachers are especially encouraged to send out postcards to parents of any students making below a C. Overall, there is generally a pretty good turnout at conferences.

“We usually send out around 500+ postcards,” said Ms. Davis. “Of those parents who receive a postcard, generally around over 30% actually attend.”

World Language Department Chair and Spanish Teacher Dr. Jennifer Miller uses postcards to specifically invite parents who she hopes to see at conferences. Dr. Miller usually sends out postcards each semester primarily for those students whose grades are not what they should be.

“A lot of times, I can only communicate with parents by email or phone message,” said Dr. Miller. “If I can sit down and share my concerns with them face to face, I can often help a student make a lot more progress.”

The purpose of the each postcard that is sent out is to personally request a conference with the parent of a student who may be struggling in a certain subject. Parents are asked to attend the conference so that an appropriate plan for future improvement can be developed. By doing so, students are able to figure out what kinds of changes need to made in order to improve for the upcoming quarter.