As a parent, I was called to parent/teacher conferences more times than I can recall over the many years of raising my children. It was always nerve wracking even though I am an educator and have worked in schools for my entire career. Suddenly, I become a parent at the these meetings and not the professional person who supports parents and students when concerns arise!

Here are some things to expect through this problem solving process:

  • The meeting may be an initial meeting only with the parent and teacher
  • You may be invited to a Student Study Team meeting
    • Team members should introduce themselves and the role they are serving on the team
    • As a parent, it’s important for you to know the roles of the team members
    • Team members may include an administrator, general education teacher, special education teacher, counselor, school psychologist
    • The team is considered a team with parents/guardians as valued members. You know your child best!
  • The team or teacher will share information regarding the reason for the meeting. It may be related to a learning difficulty, social concerns, or perhaps behavioral concerns.
    • The specific concerns should be reported to you precisely and not include educational jargon
    • Ask for specific examples and clarifications as needed to help you understand what concerns the team is trying to communicate
  • Parents/guardians should be asked to provide input. This may include:
    • Providing feedback
    • Sharing opinions and feelings
    • Providing examples of what works for your child at home
  • An agreed upon plan should be developed to address areas of concern
    • This should include you as the parent as part of the plan development
    • The plan should be agreed upon by all team members
    • The plan should include assignments by team member, including you as the parent member
      • Ensure that those assigned specific tasks understand the task
    • Set due dates as needed
    • The plan should be provided to you in a written format
    • Ensure that there is a scheduled follow-up date for the team to review your child’s progress
  • It is a good idea to follow-up with an email to the team members  following the meeting to summarize your understanding of the purpose of the meeting, action plan, and to thank the members for supporting your child