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Student Records (page 3)

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Oct 11, 2011

Teacher–Parent–Student Conferences

Regular conferences with the teacher, the parent, and the student are held during the year to discuss each student’s progress.

Considerations

  • Find out how often your school or district expects you to hold teacher-parent-student conferences. A typical conference schedule will include three teacher-parent-student conferences during the school year: (1) at the beginning of the school year, or the first reporting period, (2) in the middle of the school year, or the second reporting period, and (3) at the end of the school year, or the last reporting period.
  • Set up a schedule for your teacher-parent-student conferences. Conferences typically last 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Offer parents a selection of time slots. Be flexible, because parents often have to schedule their conference time around work hours, or they may have to leave work to attend.
  • Schedule a phone conference if parents cannot attend a conference in person.
  • Remember that when you discuss negative behavior or a low score, you need to make sure to find something positive to say as well.
  • Allow students to discuss their progress. This holds them accountable.
  • Allow students to demonstrate learned skills (such as reading, working math problems, explaining a science experiment) during the conference time.
  • Ask students to identify (1) their biggest accomplishment for this reporting period, (2) an area of weakness for this reporting period, and (3) what they’d like to focus on for the next reporting period.
  • Analyze the student’s effort, interest, and self-reflection in relation to his or her progress.

Retention Request

A request for the retention of a student involves a formal documented procedure reviewed by a committee.

Considerations

  • Realize that a student who is unable to achieve grade-level expectancy must be given special consideration.
  • Remember that a retention request is a last resort.
  • Check with the office about the retention policy and procedures of the district.
  • Never attempt to diagnose a student; leave that to a professional.
  • Keep evidence of student progress (or lack thereof) on an ongoing basis for use during conferences and possible retention discussions.
  • Consider retention for a student in very specific situations, including the following:
    • The student does not meet grade-level standards in three of the major subjects (reading, math, social studies, science).
    • The student consistently has difficulty completing work in class and/or homework, and academic skills do not seem to improve over time.
    • A variety of instructional strategies and differentiation of instruction have already been applied.
    • The student has been referred to the school’s Student Study Team.
    • Interventions have been applied.
    • Conferences have been held with the student, parents, and principal.
  • You must have a paper trail of interventions, referrals, parent notifications, and conferences in place.
  • Communicate with parents on a regular basis so that a discussion about retention does not come as a surprise.
  • Assessment of abilities and needs should be made by a team—the assigned teacher, an administrator, additional qualified teachers, and/or a school site representative, nurse, counselor, or school psychologist.
  • Proper remediation or developmental work should always be assigned.
  • Every effort should be made to help students overcome their difficulties in the areas of concern.
  • Consult with the parents and the student (and perhaps the principal) to ensure full understanding and cooperation with regard to the student’s placement.
  • If retention is approved and a recommendation is made, a follow-up meeting is usually scheduled at which the parent has the ultimate approval authority.
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