Below are a list of tips to help parent coordinators/parent leaders prepare for Spring Parent Teacher Conferences. Communicate with families by:
- Sending home an invitation that includes information about parent teacher conferences in your school. Have your principal review and approve the letter. Decide whether the letter comes from the principal or you.
- Placing flyers for the event in local businesses (e.g., laundromats, bodegas, public bulletin boards), electronic mailing lists, your school website, and newspapers; discuss with your principal, SLT and PA/PTA.
- Sending home a list of questions parents may want to ask teachers during the conferences.
- Ensuring all material translated into the languages appropriate for your parent community.
- Sending a thank you note after the conference to keep communication open.
Create a center of operations:
- Set up a table near the main entrance of the school.
- Have a parent volunteer at the table at all times. This allows parents who are new to the school to meet at least one experienced parent.
- Provide a school calendar featuring upcoming meetings, events, and workshops. Have invitations and flyers for upcoming events ready to distribute.
- Work with your PA/PTA to arrange for parent escorts or tours
- Work with your principal to arrange for photos of all school staff members to be displayed. A short bio of each teacher is a nice touch.
- Provide parents with a map of your school. For each grade level, highlight the locations of each teacher's room.
- Share information with your parent community on special education reform.
- Hand out the following Bilingual Bookmarks (e.g., English/Arabic, English/Bengali) with questions for parents to ask at Parent Teacher Conferences:
Ask every parent who comes in during parent-teacher conferences what activities he/she would like to participate in at your school. Try to gauge their interest level to suggest ways they can be involved, from minimal, (e.g., be a greeter at an event) to pull-out-the-stops, (e.g., lead a volunteer effort to coordinate an event).
Have interpreters ready to greet parents and provide assistance. If possible, utilize bilingual parent volunteers. Contact the DOE's Translation & Interpretation Unit (718-752-7373 or firstname.lastname@example.org for help providing over the phone interpretation. You can download translation request forms on their webpage.
Have copies available for parents to review your annual:
Help parents obtain log-in information for ARIS parent link:
Be sure to keep an accurate record of the number and names of parents who participate in parent teacher conferences. All reports on parent-teacher conference attendance should be submitted using this online survey by Friday, December 7, 2012, for the 2012 fall term report, and Friday, May 3, 2013, for the spring term report. Please contact the Division of Family and Community Engagement with any questions by calling 212-374-4118 or e-mailing FACE@schools.nyc.gov.
Schedule a Parents' Social Hour:
- Provide refreshments and make this a "getting to know you" session for parents.
- Highlight your school's recent achievements like increases in test scores, student winners of contests, PA/PTA fundraisers, athletic team wins, and scholarship winners. Create an attractive bulletin board to do this.
- Invite members of the City Council, Community Education Council or other community based organizations to tour the school. Use this opportunity to invite local merchants and business leaders with whom you could partner in the future.
Be proactive about providing information specific to the needs at each grade level:
- Elementary school parents may have a lot of questions about middle school articulation.
- If you are in a middle school, make sure you have information related to the high school admissions process and grade specific promotion policies on hand.
- For high school parents, keep information about graduation requirements, Regents exams, college admissions and financial aid ready.