McClure empowers and educates all students with the skills to be compassionate, confident and creative life-long learners and contributing members of our global community.
November 11, 2013
Dear McClure Families,
Last year the McClure BLT (Building Leadership Team comprised of teachers, administration and PTSA/parent reps) and the staff voted to host parent-teacher conferences during the days preceding the Thanksgiving Break, November 25, 26, and 27. The administration worked hard to put in place waivers so these days could be freed up for this purpose. Feedback from parents and teachers indicated that the community wanted to continue with parent-teacher conferences but that the arena-style conferences caused some limitations in effectively conferencing with teachers about students’ progress and areas for growth.
This year, the McClure BLT began the process of crafting our new schedule and format for parent-teacher conferences. We developed a mission statement: “The purpose of parent-teacher-student conferences at McClure Middle School is to enhance a positive, productive relationship between students, teachers and parents and to provide a better understanding of student progress and performance in individual classrooms.” We also began to craft the structure and format of the 3-day conferences.
Mid-planning, I received notice from the lead counsel for Seattle Public Schools that during the summer, the state had retracted the ability for middle schools to waive more than one instructional school day. Since then I have worked with Ms. Pritchett (former McClure Principal and current Executive Director for the Central Region) and the Seattle Public Schools Legal and Transportation Departments to negotiate a compromise so we can at least get some additional time for our conferences while still being in compliance with District and State directives. The final outcome for parent-teacher conferences is as follows:
November 25 and 26 will be half days for our students. They will leave campus at 11:20. Lunch will still be included in the student day. Parent-teacher conferences will begin at 12:00 and will run in 10 minute increments through 6:00 with a scheduled half-hour teacher break and two other planned 10-minute breaks in the schedule. There will be no school on Wednesday, November 27th.
We realize this not the originally proposed time allotment for conferences but we do believe that we can still meet our purpose statement goals in informing parents of their students’ progress and augment our communication and relationships with families.
Here are some details to guide you:
How do I get a time slot?
There will be two ways to go about this:
1. On Wednesday, November 13th, from 7:30-9:00 a.m., parents will be able to physically sign up for parent-teacher conferences in the hallway right outside the Attendance Office by the lunchroom. Volunteers will help parents sign up for designated time slots with teachers (10-minute increments).
2. After 9:00 on the 13th and until Monday, November 18th, parents may call the Attendance Office (206-252-1904) to set up their parent-teacher appointments. If you leave a message, just make sure you are clear about the teacher and time(s) for which you would like to sign up and please leave your name, your child’s name and a phone number so that our Attendance Secretary, Ms. Barnes, can call you back. Ms. Barnes will call you back to confirm your appointment or to reschedule if a teacher(s) is not available during your requested time slot.
Can I sign up for other parents when I come in or when I call?
We realize this would be a convenient way for parents to sign up, but in the interest of fairness and equity, please sign up with your own student’s teachers.
Can I have my son or daughter sign up for our family?
We know that we have responsible, thoughtful students here at McClure but to guarantee that parents sign up for the time slot(s) they desire and record these times in their calendars, we prefer that parents sign up for the conferences.
How are conferences structured?
This year, conferences at McClure will be held in teachers’ classrooms. Because of limited conference time, teachers will prepare to give parents feedback on student growth, areas of concern, how they plan to communicate student progress, and strategies to help parents support students at home. Students may attend these conferences, if desired. All conferences will be 10 minutes in length. Please be cognizant of time and that other parents/families are waiting for the next time slot. Teachers will have breaks structured into their conference time…we want them to survive these two days and be able to give the same amount of energy to all families that visit them!
What if this doesn’t seem like enough time?
If you foresee needing more time to confer with a teacher or you have strong concerns about your son or daughter’s progress in a course, please consider connecting with the teacher to schedule a meeting at another time.
Will I be guaranteed to meet with all of my student’s teachers?
We recommend that you are strategic and sign up for a time slot with the teachers you especially want to see. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will have the opportunity to speak with all of your student’s teachers. Due to the large number of students (150+ in most cases) that a teacher has in his/her classes over the course of the day, it is difficult to speak with every family. If you are unable to meet with a teacher, please contact the teacher or a school counselor with your questions.
What if I am unavailable to come to McClure during these designated days?
We understand that work, family and other commitments are inevitable and we will not be able to serve all of our families under this format. As at any other point in the school year, please feel free to call or email your teachers or one of our school counselors if you have questions or concerns about your student’s performance in a specific class.
Thank you for your support of students at McClure. We look forward to having you join us November 25-26.
Principal, McClure Middle School