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Tips as parent-teacher conferences hit Valley

Fall break is usually followed by parent-teacher conferences for Valley families.

“It’s a two-way conversation when you go and have parent-teacher conference,” said Becky Kelbaugh with the Paradise Valley Unified School District.

“You as a parent you sharing information that you want your teacher to know about your child and the teacher’s giving you as a parent information about your child academically that you may not be aware of.”

Kelbaugh has put together several tips for parents to assist them. First, it’s important to remember parents only have about 15-20 minutes at conferences so it’s a good idea to prepare any questions, thoughts or concerns in advance.

There are things parents should share.

“Improvements that you’ve noticed about your child and what’s going on in your home life that may give your teacher a little more insight,” she said.

It’s also good for parents to talk about any improvements or concerns they’re looking for.

Kelbaugh has recommendations on things you should ask the teacher.

“How their child is doing compared to the rest of the class emotionally, academically and how your child interacts with others,” Kelbaugh said. “And most importantly, how can you help your child at home.”

Here are the rest of Kelbaugh’s tips to help everyone involved get the most out of parent/teacher conferences.

What to share:

  • Improvements you’ve noticed in your child.
  • If something is going on at home such as an illness, divorce or a new baby.
  • Your appreciation for the teacher or school’s efforts.
  • Your concern and desired areas of improvement for your child
  • Any additional assistance requested from the teacher.

What to ask:

  • If there’s a Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan, ask if it has been reviewed
  • How your child interacts with other students.
  • How your child is doing emotionally and/or academically.
  • If your child is performing at grade level.
  • How your child is doing compared to the rest of the class.
  • Which areas does your child excel.
  • Which areas does your child need improvement.
  • If the teacher feel that your child is doing his or her best.
  • How can you help your child at home.

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