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Preparing for Parent Teacher Conferences

Five Must-Ask Questions

In order to help your child have a successful school year, you need to know what is expected of her, academically, from now until May. You can find out by asking some questions. Make a list of questions you want to ask and take it to the conference with you. And don't forget to take notes!

1. What skills and knowledge will my child be expected to master this year?

·  What will my child learn this year in key subjects like math, science, history, and English?
·  Are there challenging academic standards in place at this school, and how do they compare with those at other school districts? May I see them?
·  How do you inform students about the academic standards they're expected to meet? What kind of projects and assignments have you planned that will help my child meet higher academic standards?

2. How will my child be evaluated?

·  What kind of information do you use to evaluate students? How do you know if they're academically ready to move on to the next grade?
·  How are grades determined in your classroom?

3. What can I do to stay more involved in my child's academic progress?

·  What can I do at home to complement what is happening in the classroom?
·  How can I know on a daily basis what homework has been assigned?
·  How can I support teachers' efforts in implementing higher academic standards?

4. How do you accommodate differences in learning?

·  What if my child is a slow learner and falls behind, or is a fast learner and is bored?
·  Are summer school, tutoring, or other programs available for students who need more help?

5. How are older students prepared for further learning after high school?

·  Are children encouraged to think about a wide variety of career interests?
·  Are all students encouraged to take algebra by the end of eighth grade?

What should parents expect from a Parent-Teacher conference?

·         an opportunity to get to know your child's teacher in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere
·         an opportunity to hear about your child's progress in academic, social, and emotional development and to learn about strengths and special abilities
·         a chance to establish mutual goals with your child's teacher to give additional support in areas needing improvement
·         a chance to share important information with the teacher which will be helpful in understanding your child's needs
·         an opportunity to ask specific questions about the curriculum

The teacher could also discuss your child's social progress, such as:

  • relationships with others
  • behavior in and out of class

Specific areas you may wish to discuss with your child's teacher relating to school performance include:

·         classroom activities
·         methods of evaluation
·         social relationship to peers
·         discipline
·         homework
·         work and study habits
·         daily schedules
·         competency in basic skills
·         attitudes
·         strengths and areas needing improvement
·         behavior
·         initiative

The teacher may share observations which could be helpful to your child (hearing, seeing, etc.) or may have suggestions or ideas you can use at home to help your child in school. The teacher may also suggest other resources such as reading material on a topic of interest.

Helpful hints

·         Please be on time. Try to follow the schedule which has been set up. If you feel you need more time, ask about setting up another conference at a future date.
·         Call the school if a last minute emergency prevents you from coming at the scheduled time.
·         Check with your child's teacher about arranging a special conference time if the times and dates are difficult for you and your schedule.
·         Please keep in mind the parent-teacher conference is scheduled to exchange information about your child and the curriculum at the grade level. The parent-teacher conference is not the time for a general discussion of educational philosophy, nor is it the time to discuss the ability, style or program of another teacher.

Benefits of the Parent-Teacher conference

We believe conferences foster good parent-teacher communications and hope that as a result of your conference:

·         You will have a better understanding of all aspects of your child's school experience
·         You will have helped the teacher understand your child better, enabling the teacher to meet your child's educational needs
·         Your child will have a more personalized education

 You will have a better understanding of all aspects of your child’s school experience. You will know more about his/her strengths and weaknesses, special abilities, and current performance. You should have a plan to help your child do his/her best from now on. You should tell your child what was discussed and be sure to talk about any changes or new plans. Try to be positive! The better your child feels about him/herself, the better he/she will do in school. If your child attended the conference, it is still important to discuss it with him/her to make sure everyone understands what was said!


Silver Valley Unified School District Offices: (760) 254-2916

  • Superintendent and Superintendent’s Assistant: ext. 1119
  • Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services: ext. 1157
  • Human Resources Director: ext. 1182
  • District Psychologist: ext. 1125
  • Assistant Superintendent for Business Services: ext. 1153
  • Maintenance and Operations: ext. 1142
  • Food Services: ext. 1138
  • Information Services: ext. 1100
  • Alternative and Adult Education 760-254-2715
  • Fort Irwin School Liaison Officer: (760) 380-6880


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