As cool weather starts to settle in, you can be sure that the first month of school has wrapped up and fall is just around the corner. By now you, your scholar, and his or her teacher should all have a better sense of your scholar’s struggles and strengths. There is a great opportunity to discuss these topics the week of October 26 for parent-teacher conferences.

At Hiawatha Academies, elementary schools and HCHS offer traditional parent-teacher conferences led by the classroom teacher. At Hiawatha College Prep, scholars complete a self-assessment and lead the conference with the parent and teacher present. Regardless of who is leading your parent-teacher conference, follow these simple tips to make the most of your meeting.

Before the conference

  • Review your scholar’s work, grades, and progress reports, and bring a list of questions that you would like to ask.
  • Talk with your scholar about his or her progress in school, and ask your scholar if there are any topics you should bring up (positive or negative).
  • Think about ways you would like to be involved in your scholar’s learning so that you can discuss them.

During the conference

  • Share your thoughts and feelings about your scholar. Tell the teacher what you think your scholar is good at. Explain what he or she needs more help with.
  • Ask about your scholar’s progress: Is my scholar performing at grade level? How is he or she doing compared to the rest of the class? What do you see as his or her strengths? How could he or she improve?
  • Ask what you can do at home to help your scholar learn. Ask if the teacher knows of other programs or services in the community that could also help your scholar.
  • Find out what services are available at the school to help your scholar. Ask how the teacher will both challenge and support your scholar when he or she needs it.

After the conference

  • Write down the things that you and the teacher will each do to support your scholar.
  • Call or email the teacher after conferences to check on your scholar’s progress. Be sure the school has your most up-to-date contact information on file.
  • Talk to your scholar. Share with your scholar what you learned and show him or her how you will help with learning at home. Ask your scholar for suggestions.

We look forward to all the conversations that will support your scholar’s success.

Adapted from Harvard Family Research Project and