PSMS Staff News

Week of October 17th

PLC at a glance

Monday-Problem Solving

Tuesday-Conference List (+/-) All PLCs

Wednesday-Collaborative Planning with Content Partner

Thursday-Assessment Development Evaluation

Friday-Collaboration and Coordination

As a PLC group we need a volunteer from every grade level to give the SPEAK UP Survey. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes. You will need the computer lab. Please let Jenny know by Tuesday!!! Thank you!

Conferences-Please read before 10/25-Trivia with Prizes


Parent-Teacher Conferences are held in the fall and spring of each school year. In addition, teachers will have many opportunities to communicate with parents in person or by phone throughout the school year. The following pages offer some suggestions to help make those times you communicate with parents more productive and successful.

Checklist for a good conference:

• Establish rapport (smile).

• Begin on a positive note.

• Encourage the parents to talk.

• Listen attentively.

• Develop an attitude of mutual cooperation.

• Delay making numerous definite suggestions yourself.

• Encourage suggestions from the parents.

• Summarize points covered.

• End on a note of continuing cooperation.

• Provide paper and pencil for parents to use in taking notes, if they want to. Make notes after parents leave.

Conducting a conference:

• Introduce yourself - smile - make the parent feel welcome.

• Show external signs of listening by making eye contact, nodding appropriately, smiling, gestures, posture, etc.

• Try to make a positive comment about their child/student.

• If student/child is a behavior problem, comments might be as follows:

Ø Discourteous

Ø Disturbs class

Ø Insists on having his/her own way

Ø Outspoken

Ø Could make better use of time

Ø Difficulty in getting along with others

• Keep comments positive so the parent is not put on the defensive.

• If the student is a top student (straight A's), there are still areas to discuss with the parent as follows:

Ø What is the student's attitude toward school?

Ø What are some outside interests, sports, hobbies?

Ø Does the student read outside of school? Check out books from the city library?

Ø What type of person at home (quiet, mature, outgoing)?

Ø How many children are in the family?

Ø Does the student work outside school?

• Make each parent feel that their child is the most important student that you will discuss in all your conferences.

• Allow time for silence and thought. Although conference time is limited, twenty or thirty seconds of silence often builds trust. Don't feel that you must jump in every time someone stops talking.

• Be prepared to indicate in what ways the student can be helped to improve.

What parents want to know:

• Parents want and seek information that will tell them in what areas lie their child's strengths and weaknesses.

• Parents want reports that tell them something definite.

• Parents are interested in a clear, sympathetic, and intelligent discussion of the child's progress in school.

• Parents want the teacher to emphasize social behavior as well as intellectual development.

• Parents need to know their student's status - whether he/she is moving ahead, slipping backward or staying level.

• Parents are anxious for the teacher to estimate how well their child is using his/her innate ability.

• Parents in a conference situation should feel free to request, and the teacher should be free to offer, any type of information they consider important for the benefit of the student.

How to work with problem parents:

The Timid Parent usually has a very high regard for teachers and is speechless before you. He/she considers education a one-way street and feels he's going the wrong way. Nothing sparks a reply.

• Offer several sincere compliments.

• Ask questions which can't be answered with a "yes" or "no" answer.

• Be as friendly as possible without overdoing it.

The Worried Parent is usually worried about a lot more than just his child. He/she can be recognized by nervous habits such as a handkerchief twisting or finger drumming.

• If worry is expressed, recognize it and respect it.

• If the child is doing satisfactorily, assure the parent of this immediately.

• Assure the parent that few problems in child adjustment, or learning, are insoluble. Plan a joint effort to address the problem. This step usually relieves a worried parent's mind.

The Egotistical Parent will probably come in smiling, self-confident; he/she is probably clever.

• Don't deflate the balloon or you'll have a lifelong enemy. Remember, ego is a most precious possession.

• Acknowledge his abilities.

• Use the parent's abilities (as a resource person) to the advantage of the child and, possibly, the entire class.

The Critical Parent comes in armed with "expert" opinions on how to teach children. He/she wants his child to have the three R's and nothing else. He's read all about this "progressive education" and wants none of it.

• Don't argue, but try to inform by using both facts and an appeal to the emotion.

The individual teacher-parent conference begins where other reporting methods end. The parent brings to the conference his own very special understanding of what the child is like at home. The teacher brings an insight of what the child is like at school. With these two perspectives in focus, everybody gains -- especially the child.

If conferences are well planned and tactfully conducted, your work later will be easier and more effective. Good conferences help both you and the parent understand the child. They result in cooperative planning for the child and they win understanding and respect for you and the school.


Conferences are not easy for some teachers. They are not always easy for parents either. Parents want to hear about their child; but, at the same time, they are sometimes afraid of what the teacher may say. Theoretically, the report will be about their child, but they can't help but feel it will also be a report on themselves.

Be honest in answering parent's questions. Sometimes you have to say, “I don't know.” If you answer in your own personal opinion, it may be well to qualify it as “This is the way I see it.” If you do not feel you are informed enough to answer, you may want to say, “I shall get that information, if I can, and get the information to you.”

Respect the parent's confidence. Be judicious as to what you write down in a report. A statement such as "There appears to be home conditions which add to John's problems" written in the confidential folder will indicate trouble spots but will not violate confidence. Put yourself in the parents' place. They tell you things, on a professional basis, for the good of the child that they would never have divulged otherwise.

Try not to take notes during the conference. Jot them down immediately afterward. If you can't remember all the points covered, jot them down as unobtrusively as possible.

Do not be shocked at anything! Any disapproving reaction (even a facial expression) on your part can shut off any further information. You do not have to sit in judgment - you only listen with a view to understanding the student.

Don't take it for granted that parents want your help. Many of them will come for the first time because they feel they should. If you give the impression that you think they need help, your attitude may be taken for criticism. Let their suggestions come out in the course of the discussion.

Don’t jump to conclusions. You may think you know what the child’s difficulty is, then you find you were only partially right. If you don’t know what the parent means, ask! Don’t find later that you drew the wrong conclusion. Also, be sure you speak the same language. If you have reason to think the parent doesn’t understand what you have said, rephrase it. Terms like independent, secure, mature, responsible, organization may mean one thing to the teacher and something completely different to the parent.

Take what the parent says seriously. What seems very minor to you, may be important to the parent. If you treat it too lightly, you only breed distrust. This doesn’t mean you have to dwell on every little thing, but treat what is said seriously.

Do not be authoritative. Parents do the best they can. They may be right, too. There is seldom just “one way” (yours) of doing things.

Don’t send the parent away loaded down with countless suggestions. Concentrate on one or two things on which you can work together to help the child. Similarly, don’t confuse the parent by trying to show every piece of work their child has done in the past months. What you don’t show in the conference, the parents can look over at home.

Summarize major areas discussed, agree upon action needed, clarify next steps and extend an invitation to visit school any time.

William D. Southworth, Ph.D. St. John's University New York

Frances De N. Cuneo, M.A. Post Washington, New York

Happy Birthday

Donna Burchfield-Oct. 1st

Theresa Donaldson-Oct. 13th

Kathy Ramsey-Oct. 13th

Nancy Croucher-Oct. 23rd


Team Hosmer is up to bat this week!!


Area 1 Wade Commons – Courtesy Phone Carpool

Area 2 Dupree Commons – Stage Carpool

Area 3 Berberich Commons – Center Carpool

Area 4 Cloud Commons - Floater Front Door

Area 5 Barr Gym Lobby Gym Lobby

Area 6 Knecht Library Bus line – Front (Please get walkie talkie from gym)

Area 7 OPEN “Stuff Board”: Bus line - Middle

Area 7 Sifers Explo – Mural Bus line - End

Clubs this Week!


Tuesday: REbeL @ 7:10 room 26,

Wednesday: Diversity Club at Lunch, Student Council 7:05 in Ms Cloud’s room, Debate Club, Robotics Club, Fall Band & Choir Concert,



Upcoming Events:

  • Important Dates:

    • Oct. 14th-No School, Professional Development for Staff

    • Oct. 18th- Conference List, +/- All PLCs

    • Oct. 19th- Fall Band/Choir Concert 7:00 pm

    • Oct. 25th-Mix it Up, During Lunch

    • Oct. 25th-Gift of Time PLCs

    • Oct. 26th-Parent Teacher Conferences, 3:30-7:30

    • Oct. 27th-Parent Teacher Conferences, 7:30-6:15

    • Oct. 28th-No School

    • Oct. 31st-Red Ribbon Week (Assembly on the 31st-schedule coming)

    • Nov. 1st-Early Release 1:10 dismissal with PAT TIME THIS IS A CHANGE IN SCHEDULE

      • (Trauma Care and Grades) added one hour

      • Extended TCB

    • Nov. 11th-Panther Activity for 7th Grade (3:00-5:00) and 6th Grade (6:00-8:00)

    • Nov. 14th-18th-Spirit Week for Ozaman Community Service Project

    • Nov. 22nd-PLC Gift of Time

    • Nov. 23rd-25th-Thanksgiving Break

    • Dec. 6th-Early Release 1:10 (Differentiation/Core, SPED and Explo collaboration with district)