A parent teacher conference is a short meeting between you and your child’s teacher to talk about your child’s academic performance and experience at school. Parent teacher conferences are held four times a year.
These meetings help you understand what your child is experiencing and learning at school, and what you can do to support them. If your child is having trouble, parent teacher conferences also give you and the teacher time to plan how you can both help them best.
Parent Teacher Conferences During Remote Learning
During the COVID-19 pandemic, home is school for most of our students, and families are playing the role of administrators, educators, facilitators, and coaches for student learning. The upcoming Parent Teacher Conference (PTC) is an important opportunity for teachers to hear from you about how your student is doing and how remote learning supports are working for them. These past weeks have been an unprecedented time in all of our lives. During this uncertain time, it is critical that we hear from you about how your child is doing and how the school’s supports are working.
The PTC is also an opportunity for educators to provide you with feedback about your child’s academic progress, and what you can do to support your child. If your child is having trouble, you and your child’s teacher can figure out an action plan.
The guidance below is designed to help you understand what to expect from PTC during remote learning.
Translation and Interpretation Services
- We want all families to participate in PTC! Interpreters are available, so please let your teacher or parent coordinator know if you need interpretation services.
- Teachers will work with families to schedule conferences during a time that is mutually convenient for both to attend. If a teacher is unable to schedule a phone or virtual PTC meeting on an afternoon or evening during the week of their regularly scheduled PTC, the teacher will work with you to schedule another time to connect by May 22, 2020.
- Teachers will schedule time to interact with you by using an online scheduling form or by email.
- Conferences will be held by phone or through videoconference.
Preparing for the PTC
The PTC is an opportunity for you to speak with your child about their experience with remote learning, and share their questions and concerns with their teacher. Below are ways to engage your child in preparation for the PTC:
- Ask your child how they feel about school, and jointly prepare a short list of questions or concerns that you can raise with the teacher.
- Ask your child what their strongest and weakest subjects are, and which ones they like most and least.
- Review your child’s academic progress, test scores, and attendance on your NYC Schools Account.
- Make a list of questions you have, and topics that you want to discuss with the teacher. Include things that might help them understand your child’s challenges, strengths, and interests. Describe what you see as your child’s strengths and explain where you think your child needs more help.
- Think about what you can tell teachers that will help them understand your child better, such as your child's favorite subjects, special interests or hobbies, medical conditions, family situation, or any problem that might affect learning, attendance, or behavior.
Conversation Guide for Parents
This is unchartered territory for everyone, and there are no right or wrong answers. We understand that whatever you are doing right now to support your child is the right thing for you and your family. Below are some suggested questions for you to use in conversation/reflection:
- How is my child doing? Is there anything you would like to share with me about what you have observed regarding my child’s adjustment to all of the recent changes?
- What is my child expected to learn, know, and do by the end of this grade, and is my child on target?
- How will my child’s final grade be calculated?
- Does my child have any outstanding assignments, and if so, can you please provide me a list of those assignments and a timeline of when they need to be submitted?
- What does my child do well, and what does my child struggle with? Can you give me examples?
- How do you know when my child is making progress and when they need additional help?
- What can I do to support my child?
- Are there online programs or services that could also help my child?
A student’s grades are based on student progress in mastering their subject areas. In this unprecedented time, our educators will consider a student’s entire body of work in each subject area, and a student’s ability to engage in remote learning may not be used as a factor in grade calculations. For example, students may not be penalized for missing remote learning sessions if they successfully demonstrate meeting the associated learning outcomes in other ways.
Schools have been asked to review grading policies and consider the following:
- Modifying expectations based on student access to devices.
- Adjusting expectations for submission of late work based on individual circumstances.
- The applicability of pre-determined assignments that are not feasible during remote learning.
- Adjusting the way in which assignments are scored.
Marking Period Grades
- On April 27, 2020, the new city-wide grading policy went into effect. The new guidance applies to schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year and applies to final grades only. Schools must apply their original grading scales when calculating the final marking period grades using the new policy guidelines. You can find more information on the new grading policy on the DOE’s website. Consult your child’s teacher or principal for answers to questions you may have about the new grading policy.
- Schools will award final grades using a binary “Meets Standards” and “Needs Improvement” scale to ensure students are demonstrating mastery of the learning outcomes for their required courses.
- No failing grades will be given.
- Schools will award final grades using three values: “Meets Standards”, “Needs Improvement”, and “Course in Progress” for those students where there is not enough information for teachers to assess.
- No failing grades will be given, and this will not factor into their GPA.
- Schools will continue with the same grading scales they had before remote learning except for any failing grade on the scale would be changed to “Course in Progress.”
- Students will be given the time they need to complete the course and earn the credit, through January 2021.
- High school students, who successfully complete and earn credit for a course, may choose between receiving the grade or being issued “Credit (CR).” This option is only available to students who have passed the course and received a grade.
- Grades changed to ‘credit’ will not be included in their GPA and will still count toward graduation.
- Students who receive “Course in Progress” will be prioritized for academic supports to get required work completed so that they can receive a grade and then choose between being issued the grade or CR.