To the Point
Prairie Point Staff Newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 6: Monday, October 31, 2016
Parent Teacher Conferences
As you know, Parent Teacher Conferences are right around the corner. Those of us who are parents know that we are just as nervous as the teachers are, to hear how our children are doing. In addition, for many parents these 10 minutes are sometimes the only time the parents will get to know you and partner with you. Please take advantage of this time. I just want to offer some things to consider when planning the short 15 minute conference.
Please remember that all of our parents are doing the very best that they can. They are sending us the best kids that they have…no one is keeping the good ones home and sending us their rotten kids. While a student may be your most challenging child and cause all kinds of grief…mom and dad love them and adore them. Mom and dad are also trying their hardest…no one is intentionally dropping the ball or trying to be bad parents.
All parents want to know that you like his or her child. Please be sure when you are speaking about a student (even your most challenging) you are finding positive attributes and strengths to share. It is really important that these are genuine and true…if you are saying things that are kind of generic or untrue, the parent is going to realize this and it limits you credibility. In all things, praise should be authentic.
All parents want to know that you have taken the time to get to know their child. Please be sure to share things that are unique about their child. Maybe their child really loves science or was super excited about a story or project that you did in class…let them know. Maybe their child has a special talent or is involved in extra-curricular activities and they talk or journal about it. This shows that you are interested in the students and that you are going the extra mile to get to know them.
We often have parents who come in for a conference and their child is doing great. Your only advice to the parents is to keep doing what they are doing. While it is tempting to say, “all is good”, please try to come up with additional things that child can work on or ways that they can extend learning. Maybe this child is really excited about history. You can share some cool websites or resources that the child can look into at home. This again shows that you really know that child and that you want to continue to challenge him or her.
Finally, we are going to have parents where we want to give them 78 things that need to be worked on and improved. Just like the children, if the list of needed improvements is overwhelming, the parents will start tuning you out. Please try to prioritize one or two ways that the parent can partner with you and help at home. Maybe reading one story together a night, or doing an extra 10 minutes on math facts. Whatever it is, be sure to let the parent know that you will follow up in a few weeks and see how it is going. Be sure to then follow up. Shoot a quick email in a month to ask how it is going.
Finally, please know that Jen and I are here to support you. If you have ideas, questions or want to bounce things off of us, we want to help. We are also available if you have a conference that you would like one of us to sit in.
Parent Teacher Conference Schedule
The prescribed parent-teacher conference period for the 1st semester of 2016-2017 school year is Monday, October 31 – Friday, November 4th (until 1 p.m.).
In accordance with the OEA Agreement, teachers are expected to follow the schedule listed below for the first-semester parent-teacher conferences:
Elementary /Junior High Teachers
- 4 hours outside the student attendance day – Thursday, November 3rd 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
- 5 hours during an early dismissal day for high school when elementary and junior high students are not in attendance –Friday, November 4th
- 4 additional flex hours to be completed before/during the prescribed conference period - October 31- November 3rd
Elementary and Junior High School students will not be in attendance on Friday.
In Every Issue...
As we reviewed during the August Institute, we will be updating the process and paperwork a bit midyear. Please don't stress about this - there will be time and training that is given for this transition.
In the meantime, if you need to bring a student up to TEAM, please complete the same paperwork we've had in the past. You can find that at our building TEAM website. Link is below. If you're unsure about how to bring a student up for support, or have other questions about the problem-solving process, please don't hesitate to visit a member of TEAM.
One little adjustment, that will hopefully streamline the process, is that if you have a student who is on the TEAM calendar you will receive an invite to the meeting on your Google Calendar. Not everyone has full access to the weebly calendar, so you should rely on receiving those email invites through Google Calendar.
Wednesday Morning Meeting Schedule
WEDNESDAY AM MEETING
This Wednesday is Parent Teacher Conferences and not a PLC or Faculty Meeting day.
Next Wednesday, November 9th is a Faculty Meeting day. Please be ready to meet in the Community Room from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
PLCs and Agenda Options
Please know that any specialist, Jen, or I can join your meetings to discuss important topics or answer questions. If you'd like one of us to come to your meetings, don't hesitate to ask. I love to see all the great work that your teams are doing. Go Prairie Point!!!
- Please remember to share your agenda and notes with me and others who need the information.
- Before the meeting ends, decide what you will discuss and address at your next collaborative meeting which will take place next week.
- Enjoy this time with one another.
The link below contains files for 3 different templates for PLC agendas/notes. Please utilize them for your team meetings and share them with Jennifer/Jen and any specialists that you have working with your team.
The video below shows you how to save the agenda templates to your own Google Drive.
News and Info
Welcome David Russell Schumacher
Go Cubs Go!