Letter from Lara Zelski – September 18, 2019

Dear ANCS Families and Friends,

I hope you are having a great week so far. Thank you to our PTCA for organizing our first annual kickball tournament. In spite of the heat, a good time was had by all and there is already talk about teams for next year, so it was a great success!

The parent-teacher conference window opened on Monday. If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for a time, as this conference is a mandatory part of our reporting system. The purpose of this first conference is to mainly focus on social/emotional aspects of your child’s year so far. Additionally, MAP scores will be discussed and a conference guide will be shared with you. We look forward to seeing you all over the next several weeks.

As you prepare for your conference, I would like to offer some suggestions for you to consider that may enhance the experience and assure you gain the information you desire.

  • Be on time for your conference. Teachers have very full conference schedules, often fitting them in during the school day. Please let teachers know as soon as possible if your schedule changes and you are unable to make you scheduled time.
  • Talk with your child before the conference. It is helpful to get a sense of how your child feels about his/her own progress so far this school year. You can ask questions such as, “ What has been challenging so far this school year?” or “What do you think you need to focus on more as the year continues?” Your child’s responses can add a lot to the conference dialogue.
  • Take notes during the conference. In addition to having a copy of the conference guide, taking notes will help you have a follow-up conversation with your child and/or a family member that was unable to make it to the conference.
  • Ask questions and share information. If you have specific questions regarding your child’s academic or social growth, please ask them. You can even email questions to the teachers ahead of time to assure specific information is readily available to address them. Similarly, because teachers need your help and input, it is helpful to hear your observations and experiences, as they will enrich the teachers’ understanding of your child and provide them with more strategies to support him/her at school.
  • Request additional staff be present if you wish. We work hard to insure that special education and academic assistance teachers are available to attend the conferences of the students they serve. If you would like anyone else to attend your conference, please let the teachers know that as soon as possible so schedules can be coordinated.
  • Ask clarifying questions. We all have your child’s best interest at heart, but the language of education can sometimes be confusing. If you are unclear about what is being shared, ask for additional information. If you get home and realize you forgot to ask something, just contact the teachers, they will be happy to clarify any information.

We hope that each of you will leave your conference informed and confident about your child’s classroom and school experience thus far. As always, I welcome your feedback and thoughts.

Have a wonderful remainder of your week!

Lara