Question and Answer & Talking Points
Career and College Readiness Conferences
Why is there a change in the format of the February conferences?
School staff learned that parents and students need more information about South HS courses and programs. Due to the new construction, our school district is offering many new exciting programs we could not offer prior to passing the bond issue, consequently, parents and students need an opportunity to learn about all of these changes. In the future, we will likely use the February conferences to enroll students for the following school year.
Conference attendance data indicates that over the past 5 years—only 40% of parents have attended our February conferences. When we interviewed parents and students, numerous patrons indicated the existing conference format needed restructured for the following reasons: the gym was too loud, parents could not have a deep conversation with a teacher about their student’s future, and information communicated in the brief 5-minute conference could be obtained on Skyward (our school information system).
The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) requires that schools help all students develop an Individual Plan of Study so that students can find greater success following high school.
How will I know when and where my student’s conferences will be?
Students will contact their parent and then schedule the conference during ELO or seminar. The student will receive an email confirming the date, time, and location of the conference. The school will also send a postcard reminder in the mail to parents. The assigned teacher’s classroom will be the location for each conference. Support staff and students will help guide parents to the classroom.
Why does the school want the parent and student to attend conferences?
Research and best practices indicate that communication improves when both the parent and the student attend. Since we will be discussing the student’s career interest, Four-Year Course Plan, and post-secondary plans, it is imperative that both the parent and the student participate in the discussion.
KSDE also requires that schools communicate with parents and students about the Individual Plan of Study.
What if I want to know my student’s grades?
Parents can look up their student’s grades using Skyward. If you need a username and password, please call 309-3707. We will also provide parents with a copy of their student’s grades as they check in at conferences on February 7 and 8.
What if I really need to meet with more than just one of my student’s teachers?
Parents have the opportunity to meet with their student’s teachers from 2:15-4:15 p.m. on February 8. Teachers will be located in their respective classrooms during this time. Teachers who coach will not be available during this time due to athletic practices, however, if you need to meet with a teacher who coaches, you can e-mail them and schedule an appointment to meet at a different date or time. All teachers can meet before school begins on Gold Days starting at 7:00 a.m. Teachers can also meet on Green Days during their plan time.
Why do I only meet with one teacher for one conference if I have multiple students?
To avoid going through the same information multiple times, the school asks that the parent only attend one session for multiple students.
During the conference, the teacher will show a brief video about Individual Plans of Study (IPS), the parent will learn about their student’s career cruising account and how the program will guide future course enrollment and possible career or college plans.
What if I still have questions about my student’s grades, discipline, course selection, and individual plan of study following the conference?
Administrators, counselors, and additional support staff will be on duty to assist parents and students if they need more assistance. Our school’s mission is to build a positive partnership between home and school so that all students are safe, honorable, and successful. We will work hard to ensure parents and students do not leave our building with any questions.