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Conference change at HHS

December 6, 2018

With second term conferences coming up, HHS will be changing the way conferences are run.

The new format will have parents scheduling their students conferences by filling in time slots for each teacher. During first term conferences there were long lines, as parents were waiting to meet with teachers.

Doug Bullinger, principal, saw room for improvement after first term conferences concluded.

“We saw a big increase for first term conferences, but having open time wasn’t good for parents or teachers. Parents would show up hoping teachers were available, but then they would have something scheduled. It didn’t really work,” Bullinger said.

The new changes for second term will hopefully draw more families to attend conferences.

“We thought about more ways to be proactive to get more families here, because we believe in a strong partnership between the school and the home, to bring about success for students. What we were doing before wasn’t working,” Bullinger said.

Across the nation, schools have been slowly reworking conferences. Low turnout rates have been a big cause for the changes, as administrators view conferences as an important part of a child’s educational growth.

“After looking at patterns from past years, fewer people show up for second term and fourth term conferences,” Bullinger said.

As schools across the country have been changing, it is causing change for events like parent-teacher conferences.

According to The Washington Post, Academic Parent-Teacher Teams, also known as APTT, has been worked into many schools across the country. APTT’s goal, is to engage parents and teachers. It hopes to help parents contribute to the growth and achievement of their kid.

Wayzata High School uses a similar strategy like APTT to help parents engage with teachers. According to a brochure provided by Scott Gengler, Wayzata’s principal, the school has curriculum night once a school year. This night helps provide parents the necessary tools to help aid their student outside of school.

As well as curriculum night, they have conferences once a term.

Curriculum night is an opportunity for parents, especially incoming 9th grade parents, to learn more about our curriculum sequences, course offerings and other programs,” Gengler said in an email interview.

Looking forward to the future of conferences this year, the new format will be in place for third and fourth term as well.

“Conferences are a way to ensure that there is a communication method between school and family. We don’t want parents or students to feel surprised by what’s going on in class academically, socially or emotionally. We want to make sure we are building in structures to insure we have conversation taking place,” Bullinger said.

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