Fall is the season that marks the transition from summer fun to winter work and as Los Angeles students settle into their school routines it is also a time for parents to check in with their student’s teachers to see just how well their child is transitioning into the school year. Whether your child attends a public school or a top private Los Angeles school, you will want to ask the right questions to get at the heart of your child’s academic and behavioral progress. And, you’ll want to set up a connection with your child’s teacher that will allow you to continue to communicate frequently throughout the rest of the school year. To help you get the most out of that first visit with your child’s teacher, here are a few questions recommended by the headmaster at Chatsworth Hills Academy, a premier International Baccalaureate private school located in the San Fernando Valley.
1. How is learning assessed (tests, projects, presentations, etc.) How do these assessments reflect my student’s progress in various subjects?
The most common use for parent teacher conferences is to share your student’s academic progress and growth based on classroom observations, testing data, assessments, portfolios, and assignments. And in today’s world of academics, tests and data are king. Finding out how teachers assess can lead to important conversations about your child’s learning styles and whether the teacher uses a variety of different factors to determine learning. This question will ultimately allow your student’s teacher to discuss the various ways in which he or she may gather data and how it will be used to determine whether or not your student is meeting and exceeding the standards presented.
2. Is my student working up to his or her ability?
Along with the first question, this question can lead to further discussion about how your child learns best. It can also allow the teacher to learn from you more about your student’s strengths, needs, behaviors, and learning styles. Your student’s teacher will want to meet every student where they are and design lessons that enrich every student’s abilities. With your help, your teacher can best construct these learning opportunities for your child and communicate with you during the school year to report on how your student is progressing with the variety of strategies used.
3. Have had any concerns about the way my child interacts with others or have you seen any changes in the way he or she acts such as moodiness, tiredness, or squinting?
It is important to know how your child is interacting with others and your child’s teacher will be observing the relationships your child is making with other students every day. If there is a change in your child’s behavior at school, it is always a good idea for parents and teachers to discuss possible reasons for the change. The answer to this question can also help you understand or find out if your student might be showing signs of physical or vision impairments or other problems that might be interfering with his or her learning and growth.
4. What can I do to be supporting my student in his or her growth in your class?
Let your child’s teacher know that you are there to partner with them for the success of your child’s learning for the duration of the school year. Understand that your child’s teacher is doing everything he or she can to teach your child the skills and behaviors to be successful in the 21st century and knowing that you will help that teacher support your child is critical.
5. How do you prefer to communicate with parents? Students?
Both you and your student’s teacher lead busy lives in and outside of school. Asking how it best to communicate with each other will help both of you feel supported. Some teachers may want to communicate via email, others may communicate via group texts or through platforms such as GroupMe or Reply All. Find out how to contact your student’s teacher if he or she or you has questions about homework assignments or an upcoming assessment or project. Also discuss how often your child’s teacher may communicate.
At Chatsworth Hills Academy, teachers recognize that the primary focus of parent-teacher conferences is you finding out more about your child’s academic progress. However, they believe it is also important to discuss circumstances that might be affecting your child’s learning like physical, behavioral and social development. The staff at CHA also want to open up lines of communication with parents so that they can make contact to celebrate your child’s successes and discuss any concerns. CHA is the only International Baccalaureate World School in the San Fernando Valley for Preschool through 8th grade. If you are interested in finding out more about the premier college preparatory private school in Los Angeles, give the friendly professionals at CHA a call at (818) 998-4037 x275 and arrange a tour of their 16-acre campus located in the San Fernando Valley.