It’s that time of year again – that’s right, report card conferences are coming up soon! For the 2023-2024 school year, the first term report card conferences will be one (1) full day (November 27th), while the second and third term conferences will be two (2) half days (February 1st and 2nd & April 4th and 5th).

Research shows that family engagement has a number of benefits for every child and every school. By attending conferences, you’re not only empowering yourself to help your child, but you’re also helping your child’s teachers and schools to learn more about your child and how they can help them achieve. At an ideal conference, family members/caregivers and teachers can talk about things inside and outside of the classroom. This is a chance to have two-way conversations and ask questions. Remember, teachers want to hear from you and value your presence at these conferences!

Before the Conference: Let’s Prepare!

  • First and foremost, make sure your school is following the guidelines governed by Policy 212, which discusses report card conferences. Per the policy, the following must be followed by all schools:
    • Scheduling of parent-teacher conferences shall occur at times and places that promotes the greatest degree of participation by parents/guardians
    • Parents/guardians whose primary language is not English shall be offered appropriate interpretation and translation services
    • Conferences and/or meetings should accommodate the attendance of all necessary stakeholders. There should be options for either in person, by phone, or virtual meetings.
  • Take a few minutes to review some of your child’s major assignments in the class. How did they do? Notice any areas for improvement?
  • Talk with your child about how they feel about the class. Here are some thing to explore:
    • Are they confident or having difficulty in the classroom?
    • How are they making friends and navigating school?
    • How do they need you to support them?
  • Make a list of questions/concerns you have for the teacher. Check out a few example questions below:
    • What are some subjects/areas in which my child excels?
    • What are some subjects/areas in which my child could grow?
    • What are some things I can do at home to help my child?
    • Are there specific books, apps, or resources my child can/should use for help in your class?
    • How is my child doing socially?
  • Prepare to bring the following items to the conference:
    • a copy of your child’s report card
    • a short list of questions you have for your child’s teacher
    • something to take notes on (either your phone or a notepad!)

During the Conference: Let’s Connect!

  • Utilize your list of questions to ensure a two-way conversation. Don’t be afraid to bring up concerns or questions – teachers are here to help and want to hear from you!
  • Take notes and ask follow up questions if needed.
  • Ask to see examples of your child’s schoolwork. This could give you ideas of how you can support your child.
  • Ask about any support services the school may offer to help your child. Our District has a lot of resources and partnerships and we’re here to help you and your child!

After the Conference: Let’s Continue the Conversation!

  • Note practical action steps to move forward, and communicate them with the teacher. For example, if you feel like you might want to have a chat with the teacher every month to check in on a challenge your child is having, think of a schedule that works for you both.
  • Ensure you have provided the teacher with any updated contact information.
  • Find other ways to get involved in your child’s school community to remain connected.