Parent Teacher Conferences Rapidly Declining

Karley Mullins, Reporter

On November 7 and 8, the annual parent teacher conferences occurred, and the school continues to see a decline in parent participation. 

According to guidance secretary Dot Absher, This year there were 140 conferences for only 40 students. The discrepancy in numbers is probably due to the fact that parents come in and meet with one students’ seven teachers.What can account for the steady decrease in parent attendance? First, Unlike five years ago, we have a district-wide Sapphire community portal which gives parents an ability to easily and quickly check student grades. 

In addition, the school posts the conferences on the school calendar and on Sapphire but does not do an auto call home to remind parents of conferences.

Since the school does not tell the parents with a phone call, there is no way for parents to know if they don’t check Sapphire or their child doesn’t tell them about it. 

Students readily admit to not telling their parents about the conferences. Many students simply said, “No [I don’t tell my parents], because I do not care about them” or “No, because I have no reason to go.”

Teachers are noticing that conferences have been declining but there is still a purpose in having them. They are to have open communication between parents and teachers about the student. If it is important, teachers will email the parent or comment on their report card. 

It is more likely for parents to come into ninth grade classes rather than upperclass grades , because students are starting to be mature and not goofing around as much. 

Teachers have noticed that elementary and middle school are very common conferences, because they are still young and they aren’t as responsible or mature yet. 

The main goal that the teacher usually tries to cover with the parent is how the student has been doing currently and in previous marking periods, how to help the student in the best way possible, and any concerns that the parent may have. 

Parents still see that it is relevant to come to conferences but don’t. They may not look at their child’s report card or their child doesn’t tell them about them. 

One parent, Kimberly Engler, said “when parents become involved and care about their students it is much more effective rather than them not caring all, and the teacher does not always know everything going on”. 

The more parents know about when their child is having a problem and come in to talk about it, the more of an effect it will have on the student.