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Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are held four times a year, twice in the fall and twice in the spring. Ask your parent coordinator when the next conferences will be.

At parent-teacher conferences you meet individually with your child’s teacher(s). Teachers share:

  • what your child is expected to learn and how she or he is meeting those expectations
  • what special help or services the school offers to support your child's learning
  • how you can encourage your child's learning at home
  • how you and the teacher can work together to help your child.

The conference is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have.

How you can prepare for the parent-teacher conference:

  • ask your child how he or she feels about school; together, prepare a short list of questions or concerns that you can raise with the teacher.
  • make arrangements so you can be on time for your meeting; if possible, make child care arrangements for young children.
  • think about what you can tell teachers that will help them understand your child better, such as your child's favorite subjects, special interests or hobbies; medical conditions, family situation or any problem that might affect learning, attendance or behavior.

Here are some questions that you might want to ask the teacher(s):

  • What topics will be taught this year? What are some important skills that my child will have to master?
  • In what areas is my child doing well? In what areas is my child having difficulties?
  • Does my child participate in class activities and discussions? Does she or he do the homework assignments?
  • How much time do you expect to be spent on homework? Do you assign homework every day? Are there any special projects or long-term reading assignments?
  • What are the standardized tests in my child’s grade or subject? When are they given? How will I be informed of the results?
  • Is tutoring or other extra help available at school?
  • What determines the grade my child will get in this class or subject?
  • How can I get in touch with you?

Additional support for your child:

What's offered in the typical class may not meet the needs of every child. New York City public schools offer many programs and services to help different kinds of learners learn. If you think your child needs special support, ask the teacher what is available. Options may range from enrichment classes for gifted and talented students or extra help in small groups, to programs for English language learners and support services from social workers or speech or language teachers. Talk to the teacher about your child’s special needs.

If your child is receiving special education services, his or her school program is based on an individualized education program (IEP). More information on special ed and the IEP and on how to ensure that your child gets the services to which she or he is entitled.