Since they cannot educate students without parent involvement one middle school has been calling parents for conferences, to encourage and remind them of these important meetings.
“We can’t educate students by ourselves,” said Thomas Jefferson Middle School Principal Kelly Molony. “We need the parents with us as partners.”
In addition to phone calls, the staff sent emails and posted information on social media about the conferences.
Last year, only 57 percent of the students families attended conferences. This year, it was 75 percent. This is the first year that conferences have been scheduled. “We’re pretty happy so far with our attendance,” Molony said. Drop ins that are not scheduled are not included in the figures.
In order to remind families, the school makes three automatic phone calls and one mass email requesting that conferences be scheduled. If a parent conference is not scheduled, the family receives a personal call from a staff member. According to Molony, approximately half of the families receive a personal call.
The response to the personal phone calls has been positive. Parents, grandparents, and guardians appreciate the outreach from teachers, staff, and the principal.
Some parents and guardians have had negative experiences with school themselves and are reluctant to come in. “We have to remember that and make this a welcoming place for parents,” Molony said.