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Lauren Gemmill

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

(518) 377-4666 x50703 

Niskayuna Schools > Academics > Parent Conferences

Parent Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences take place on scheduled conference days throughout the year and at other times as determined by parents and teachers.

How to Prepare for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parents can write questions about their child's learning experiences such as:

  • What skills and knowledge will my child be expected to master this year, especially in key subjects such as reading, mathematics, science, history and English?
  • How will my child be evaluated? What kind of information do you use to evaluate students and how are grades determined in your classroom?
  • What can I do at home to complement what is happening in the classroom? How can I support teachers' efforts in implementing higher academic standards?
  • 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?

Many times, however, parents will be asked to attend a conference because there are issues about their child's performance that must be addressed. Parents can then work with teachers to resolve these issues. Specifically, as a parent you can:

  • Identify what will help. Ask the teacher what strategies have been used to address the issue. Together, the parent and teacher can devise an effective solution to the learning problem.
  • Make a plan. Ask the teacher what you can specifically do to help the child at home. With the teacher, list 3 or 3 concrete actions you and your child can do every day.
  • Schedule a follow-up conference. It is always a good idea to plan a follow-up meeting and check on how the plan and targeted strategies are working. Generally, 3 or 4 weeks is enough time between meetings to allow for progress. Waiting until the next reporting period may be counterproductive.
  • Other things to keep in mind include being on time for your meeting and not exceeding the amount of time that has been set aside, usually about 40 minutes. Try to select a meeting time that is good for you and the teacher, especially if you are a working parent and cannot meet during regular hours.
  • If your spouse can't attend the conference with you, ask for his or her concerns and questions.
  • Finally, ask your child's school for support, or consult a parent liaison or specialist for special accommodations such as interpreter services.