The Voice of Kimball Nation
October 12 - 16, 2015
Executive Director's Messaage
This week as we prepare for Parent-Teacher Conferences remember how critical it is for us to communicate effectively with our students’ parents about their progress. In my professional career I picked up many tips early on from observing colleagues. I hope that sharing this information will help your teachers to have productive parent conferences.
Be Professional. This is not necessarily as simple as it sounds. Occasionally, you will be facing an irate parent who is upset before even meeting you. Nine times out of ten, this is a result of misinformation. Don't take it personally, stay professional.
Be Prepared. Prepare all materials before leaving school the previous day. Have an updated print-out of the student's grades and any records of pertinent behavior infractions, and so on. Present the missing assignments or tell the parent how the student can do better this six weeks.
Be positive. Start the conference with an upbeat statement about the student. Let's say your meeting is in regard to too much off-task behavior. Begin with something positive about the student. This will help the parent to be more open to the situations you are about to discuss.
Give the parent hope. I always gave the parents a handout with tips suggesting ways to help their student at home. Be specific about how academic or social behaviors need to change in order for improvement to be realized.
Follow-up with parents after the conference. Ask for the parents' email address. Reiterate what the plan will be for their son or daughter. Let them know that if they have any further questions, they can email or call you. Emphasize the importance of working together to resolve concerns.
Parent conferences can be excellent vehicles for enlisting the support and involvement of parents. Use this opportunity to build an effective and lasting line of communication with our parents and emphasize the importance of working together
Make it a GREAT week!
Dr. Cheryl Wright
Kimball Feeder Pattern Leverage Points
GEEO Teacher Travel Programs
Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) is offering the following travel programs for 2016: Bali/Lombok, Bangkok to Hanoi, China, Costa Rica, Eastern Europe, The Galapagos Islands, Greece, Iceland, India/Nepal, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Morocco, Myanmar (Burma), Peruvian Amazon, Peruvian Andes, Portugal/Spain, Heart of the Silk Road, Southern Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam/Cambodia, Western Balkans, Peru (Winter Break), Southern India (Winter Break), Israel (Spring Break), Moorish Spain (Spring Break), and Morocco (Spring Break). Detailed information about each trip, including itineraries, costs, travel dates, and more can be found at www.geeo.org.
Founded in 2007, GEEO is a 501c3 non-profit organization that has sent over 1300 teachers abroad on adventurous travel programs. With GEEO educators can earn professional development credits while seeing the world. GEEO's trips are 7 to 21 days in length and are designed and discounted to be interesting and affordable for teachers. In addition to amazing tour leaders, many of the programs are accompanied by university faculty that are experts on the destination. GEEO also provides teachers educational materials and the structure to help them bring their experiences into the classroom. The trips are open to all nationalities of K-12 and university educators, administrators, retired educators, as well as educators’ guests.
The registration deadline is June 1st, but space is limited and many programs will be full well before the deadline.
GEEO can be reached 7 days a week, toll-free at (877) 600-0105 between 9 AM - 9 PM EST.
Education in Action - Call for Outstanding Student Nominations
Teachers are invited to nominate outstanding 4th-8th graders for summer 2016 Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. Participants travel to the Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin/San Antonio, or Houston/Galveston area to join delegations of other distinguished students from across Texas for a week of fun, learning, leadership development, and visits to significant Texas destinations. Each day participants explore notable Texas sites, learn about unique careers from professionals, and work in small groups to develop specific leadership skills. In addition to improving their leadership abilities, participants gain self-confidence and independence and develop new friendships with other high-achieving students from across the state. Nominees must be in 4th-8th grade, maintain an 85 or higher average, demonstrate leadership ability, and be involved in school/community activities. Nominations of outstanding 4th-8th graders may be made online at http://www.educationinaction.org/educators/nominations.php.
Nomination Deadline: Friday, November 6, 2015.
For more information, visit www.educationinaction.org or call (817) 562-4957
Addressing Various Parent Concerns
In this article in Principal Leadership, New Jersey social worker/family therapist Brett Novick lists some troublesome parent behaviors and suggests ways to deal with each one:
• My child is never at fault – “Stick to the facts,” advises Novick. “Document your conversations… Documentation can help clarify facts, reduce emotional exaggeration, and avoid legal disputes.” To prevent teachers, administrators, and other adults being played off against each other, he suggests including the student in meetings.
• The teacher or administrator must be wrong about what my child did – Let the parent have his or her say first, says Novick. “Encouraging parents to share their worries first enables you to remind them in a firm-yet-understanding tone that the rules of the school apply even if they don’t necessarily agree with all of them.” It’s helpful to have another educator present at the meeting.
• He’s your problem now – “Some parents are drowning in a world of financial despair and/or emotional, physical, or family issues,” says Novick. “First, see if these survival concerns are being met.” If the parent isn’t in a position to help with a child’s issues, work with the school counselor to find rewards, motivations, and consequences within the school.
• Second-guessing teachers and administrators – Don’t always assume the worst and avoid getting defensive, says Novick. The parent may be using questions about the curriculum and other matters to understand what’s going on and feel part of a child’s education. “The more information that these parents have on the front-end, the less apt they are to question how things were handled on the back-end,” he says.
• Harassing, intimidating, or bullying behaviors – When parents are in this mode, Novick advises against using e-mail (it can come across as confrontational) or picking up the phone while angry. Timeliness is also important – getting to the parent with the school’s side of the story before the child has a chance to stoke anger at home.
• My child will attend school when he or she chooses to – Look for patterns in children’s absence, advises Novick, as well as signs of abuse or neglect, and provide missed work for chronically absent children.
• Passive-aggressive behavior – Becoming too friendly with parents – accepting a daily cup of coffee or a bagel, chatting on social media or the soccer field, accepting a compliment that includes an invidious comparison with another educator – can come back to haunt you, says Novick. Maintain appropriate boundaries at all times.
• My child is being victimized by teachers (or other students) – Steer the conversation away from blaming or victimizing, says Novick. “Remind them that it is the behavior that you are addressing. You are not condemning their child’s character or, consequently, their parenting skills.” In addition, it’s important for the school to work toward consistent discipline policies from classroom to classroom.
• Helicoptering – Be proactive in contacting these parents and affirming their deep and passionate concern for their children’s well-being. “These parents are concerned that their child will not be able to handle the proverbial ‘real world’ without their intervention,” says Novick. “When you report successes to the parents, it helps them to realize that they do not have to do everything for their child.”
• Distrustful of public schools, administrators, and teachers – “Don’t focus on being right or wrong,” says Novick. “Focus on what is right for the student.” And look for face-saving “win-win” solutions.
“The 10 Most Challenging Types of Parents – and How to Work With Them” by Brett Novick in Principal Leadership, September 2015 (Vol. 15, #1, p. 44-48)
Some thoughts for making parent teacher conferences meaningful and rewarding for all. Click on the link above to read more.
Monday, October 12
- Campus Visit - Kimball HS
- Campus Visit – T. W. Browne
- High School Parent Conference Night (4:30 - 8:00 PM)
Tuesday, October 13
- Principal for a Day
- Campus Visit – Webster ES
- Principal for a Day Reception (3:00 – 5:00 PM)
- Middle School Parent Conference Night (4:30 -8:PM)
Wednesday, October 14
- Campus Visit – Stemmons ES
- Campus Visit – Henderson MS
- Campus Visit - Brashear ES
- PSAT (Grade 10)
Thursday, October 15
- Campus Visit –Moreno ES
- Campus Visit – Webster ES
- Elementary School Parent Conference Night (4:30 – 8:00 PM)
Friday, October 16
- Secondary Fair Day
On the Horizon
On The Horizon
Oct 19 - Professional Development (Student Holiday)
Oct 21 - Districtwide Principals' Meeting & Data Meeting
Oct 21 – Dallas ISD Community Bond Meeting @ Kimball High School (6:00 PM)
Oct 23-31 - Red Ribbon Week
Oct 28 - Districtwide Assistant Principals' Meeting
Oct 29 - Kimball Feeder Principals' Meeting
Nov 4 - Principal Focus Group
Nov 9 - Professional Development (Student Holiday)
Nov 9 - Assistant Principal Focus Group
Nov 10 - 3rd Six Weeks Begins
Nov 10 - TEI Expert Meeting
Nov 18 - Districtwide Principals' Meeting
- 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee Registration - October 15
- District Funding for Reading Assessments/Interventions - October 15
- Records Liaison Appointment - October 16
- ACP Fall Film Festival - October 20
- Redesigned SAT Princeton Review Teacher Training - October 24
- Compliance Training for Campus Personnel - October 31
- Accountability Index Training - November 3
Please Register! Encourage your teachers to attend the ACP viewings in the coming weeks. Elementary viewings will be at Adamson High School and secondary viewings will be at Buckner.