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NYC Families: it’s time to meet your children’s teachers!

Throughout September 2019, NYC public schools across the five boroughs are hosting this school year’s first citywide round of Parent Teacher Conferences.

Held four times a year, parent teacher conferences provide families with great opportunities to talk with teachers about what their children are experiencing and learning in school. These short meetings also give parents and teachers the chance to discuss how to support student learning outside of the classroom.

This month’s conferences are scheduled for the following dates:

Elementary Schools (K–5 and K–8 schools):

      • Thursday, September 12 (4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)

Middle Schools (6–8 schools):

      • Thursday, September 19 (4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)

High Schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools:

      • Thursday, September 26 (4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)

Note that these are citywide dates; schools may have their own unique parent teacher conference schedules, so families should check in with their schools’ parent coordinators to confirm September’s conference dates.

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Great conferences between teachers, parents, and students can lead to improvements both inside and outside the classroom.

To make the most out of this month’s conferences, families should take a few moments to review and consider the following tips before meeting with teachers:

  • Talk to your child before going to the conference. Ask them if they would like you to speak about anything in particular with the teacher
  • Consider bringing your child(ren) with you to the conference join the conversation;
  • Identify what you see as your child(ren)’s strengths and areas for growth;
  • Confirm the best way for teachers or other school personnel to communicate with you. Phone? Email? Notes in backpacks?
  • Be ready to provide important information that might help your child(ren)’s teachers better understand your child(ren)’s development this year, including strengths, challenges, interests, and approaches to learning.
Parent Coordinators Provide Parent with Key Support Throughout the School Year

Families should contact their schools’ parent coordinators to learn more about this spring’s parent teacher conferences, PTA meetings, and other family-focused events.

We also suggest that families consider asking teachers the following questions during this month’s conferences, as these questions can help both teachers and families gain a better understanding of students’ progress:

  • What is my child expected to learn, know, and do at this grade level?
  • What can I do at home to support my child’s learning this year?
  • How do you know when my child is making progress and when he/she needs additional help?
  • How would you support my child if he/she needs extra help?
  • What is the best way to contact you after normal school hours?
  • Does my child look comfortable in class? Is he/she struggling to see the chalkboard/dry erase board?
  • Does my child seem engaged or happy at school?
  • Has he/she made friends?
  • How would you challenge my child when he/she is doing well at something?
  • Does my child get excited about learning?
  • How does my child get along with classmates and adults?
  • Has my child participated in class discussions and group activities so far?
  • Do you have suggestions for afterschool programs and/or extracurricular activities?

We hope these tips and suggested questions will help jumpstart some great conversations during this month’s conferences. If anyone has additional questions or requires assistance during their conference date (i.e. translation/interpretation services, accessibility concerns, etc), they should contact their school’s parent coordinator.

Happy conferencing!

Parent Teacher Conferences Are a Great Way for Parents to Understand What Their Children Are Learning in School

Use September’s conferences as an opportunity to get to know your children’s teachers, including their curricula, teaching practices, and expectations for the year.

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of a million students across 1,800+ schools

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