Dear Burr Families,
It was great to see so many of you at Halloween Family Fun Night on Saturday. Each year, I am amazed at the transformation our creative volunteers manage to achieve. The lobby, gym, and cafetorium were completely “spooked up” on Saturday. Many thanks go to Marlene Gibson and Louisa Hunt for coordinating and heading up the team that made it all happen. It was great to see seasoned and new volunteers joining together to ensure the event continue to be one of the most memorable and fun for the children at Burr.
As much as I enjoy seeing the children all dressed and in character, I ask that these costumes and props stay at home. At school, they can be distracting and take time away from learning. The teachers and I appreciate your understanding in this matter. The kindergarten classes only will take part in a costume parade on Friday, October 31st. Kindergarten parents will get information about this event from their child’s classroom teacher.
Burr Family Quilt
Many of you have seen and value the Burr Family Quilt that is displayed in our school’s lobby. Children and parents walk by it daily and enjoy looking at the family pictures. The quilt was updated last year and needs annual attention. Currently, we do not have all of our kindergarten families represented, and we still have pictures of families who graduated last year. It will be most helpful to have two parent volunteers with children in kindergarten or first grade willing to take on this project. It is set up in an organized and systematic way and easily explained to whomever takes it on. Please contact me at the email below if you are interested in helping to keep our Family Quilt current.
This week we start the fall parent-teacher conferences. These conferences are a time for you and your child’s teacher to discuss initial progress, set goals for the first half of the year, and to talk about anything that is specific to his/her education. Below are some suggestions for you to think about as you prepare to confer with your child’s teacher. They were taken from publications of the National PTA and National Education Association and I share them with you annually because both teachers and parents find them helpful.
Parent-Teacher Conferences ~ Ideas for Parents
Getting Ready: Talk to your child before the conference. Find out what he/she thinks is going well; find out what he/she thinks are areas for improvement, and why. Ask your child if there is anything he/she would like you to talk about with the teachers. Make sure your child doesn’t worry about the meeting and that he/she knows that this is a typical expectation that the school has to facilitate good communication between parents and teachers. Help him/her understand that you and the teacher are meeting together to share information and support learning.
Before you come to school, write notes to yourself about:
- your child’s life at home, any significant changes or information you feel is important for the teacher to know
- your observations and questions about this year’s curriculum
- questions about your child’s progress
- ways that you and the school can work together to help your child
The Conference:Some good questions to ask are:
- What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses as a learner?
- Is my child working up to his or her ability? How is his/her effort?
- Does my child participate successfully in class discussions and activities?
- How well does my child get along with others?
- How do you evaluate my child’s progress? What standards will he/she be evaluated on for the January report card?
If the teacher says something you don’t quite understand, be sure to ask for an explanation. Ask the teacher for specific suggestions for ways to help your child to improve. This is the most important part of the meeting. It will become your action plan. It’s a good idea to end the conference by summing up decisions you have made together. If needed, ask to meet again.
After the Conference: Start immediately on the action plan you and the teacher have worked out together. Discuss the plan with your child; make sure that he or she knows that you and the teacher care. To see if the action plan is working, watch your child’s behavior and check your child’s class work and homework. (Young children need an adult to oversee their homework. It’s important to look in their backpack every night!) Stay in regular touch with the teacher to discuss the progress your child is making. Meeting with your child’s teacher should help build strong parent-teacher partnerships – partnerships that are needed if you and your child’s teachers are to reach your common goal: helping your child get the best education possible.
I look forward seeing most of you between November 7-9 as we work together to help build our new playground. I thank you in advance for your efforts and encourage you to sign up to help if you have not done so already.