PORT HENRY - Moriah Central School is striving to reach 100 percent parent participation in its annual Report Card Pick-up / Parent Conferences Day Tuesday, Nov. 10, noon - 7:15 pm.
"In the elementary school, teachers make appointments for students in their classes," said Kathy Carr, Moriah High School principal. "Once students reach junior high and high school, this is no longer a viable option, since students generally have six or more teachers each day. However, the importance of parent conferences does not diminish when students leave elementary school."
When only 20 conferences took place school-wide (grades 7 - 12) in 2007, teachers became so discouraged that some of them proposed reverting that day back to a regular day of instruction.
"However, the importance of parent participation in their child's education could not be denied," Carr said. "A campaign was undertaken to get the word out about this opportunity for parents to work with the school to help assure student success."
A teacher committee was formed to propose strategies to increase parent participation in this event. Several group meetings, with parents and all the student's teachers and guidance counselor, were set up in advance. Teachers called parents to schedule time for conferences. Reminders were part of the comments on report cards to reduce the number of parents who simply picked up their child's report card and then left without meeting with any teachers.
"Most teachers enlisted the help of their students to encourage parents to attend by offering free homework passes to students whose parents met with their teachers," Carr said. "Parents who attended Report Card Day were eligible for a variety of door prizes donated by school and community groups. As a result of these efforts, in 2008, 478 conferences took place - a far cry from the measly handful the previous year. This significant increase is certainly a giant step toward reaching our goal of 100 percent participation.
"Parents are an essential piece to students' academic achievement and overall success in school," Carr said. "All Moriah parents and guardians are invited and encouraged to attend Report Card Pick-up / Parent Conferences Day."