Calendar Changes Allows For More Parent Conferences
Parent-teacher conferences are the best way I know for parents to really learn how their students are doing in school. They can see children’s work and discuss student progress with teachers. I’ve learned, however, that there is not enough time during our designated parent-teacher conference nights to see every parent who wants a meeting.
Beginning next school year, we plan to extend our conference times from two evening meeting dates, one in the fall and one in the late winter, to two evenings and two full days. The State of Ohio allows us to count a day parent-teacher conference day as a student day—and many districts do this each year.
We also have the problem of parents who are not motivated to attend conferences. This was the case in the past at Barberton High School, but a change was made that dramatically increased parent attendance at meetings; the ninth and tenth grades implemented student-led conferences with parents.
In student-led conferences, the students present their academic progress to their parents. Teachers are there also, but they do not take center stage. This creates ownership for the students of the work they do (or don’t do), and students can describe their strengths and weaknesses to their parents as they display a portfolio of assignments.
When students explain to their parents that they need to come to hear their presentations, parents usually attend. Parents can still ask teachers questions and get guidance on what they can do at home to further enrich their child’s education, but most of the talking is done by the student.
With the addition of extra time for conferences, student-led conferences will be taking place in more grade levels than just ninth and tenth grade next year. The district will provide professional development to our teachers to help them with the shift from the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side.” Academically, this helps students understand more fully what they need to be successful in their classes.
Because this is a change to the school calendar that has already been approved by the Board of Education, there will be a chance for public comment on this change at our next Board meeting on May 13, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at Barberton Elementary School East on Robinson Ave. You can see the draft of the 2015-2016 calendar on the home page of our website on the right side of the page under our Safe Schools Helpline.
If you wish to comment on the school calendar, please attend the meeting. We think this change will serve two purposes; engage more parents in conferences and create more student ownership and purpose in their education.- See more at: http://www.barbertonschools.org/protected/ArticleView.aspx?iid=6YPY2P2&dasi=4GG3B#sthash.93xTzf67.dpuf