LMS has new plan for parent-teacher conferences

LMS has new plan for parent-teacher conferences
Posted on 10/25/2016
Lynden Middle School staff knows the importance of parent-teacher connections, so in the ever-evolving landscape of parent-teacher conferences the middle school this week announced a new way for parents to schedule conference times with seventh and eighth grade teachers using the Skyward online system.

Already used by parents to check on grade and attendance status, LMS principal Molly Mitchell-Mumma says the middle school will use the system’s ability to schedule conferences for the four November conference dates at LMS.

“The feedback we are getting from parents is they want to have the ability to schedule a conference with any teacher they are needing to talk to,” she says. “We changed so that was our model this year, being really responsive to parent feedback.”

Starting now, parents can log into Skyward and schedule a conference. Conference days this year are scheduled for Nov. 16, 17, 21 and 22 during daytime hours with additional evening slots on Nov. 17. For help logging onto the Skyward system, call Diane Marsh at 354-3760 extension 4116.

The most recent model for conferences has been for teachers to first schedule priority conferences with parents of new students or students with special learning needs. Once those were all scheduled, then parents could come in and schedule times. “The parents wanted an opportunity early on to schedule a conference regardless of their child’s needs,” Mitchell-Mumma says.

As middle school staff continues to search for ways to increase communication between home and school, Mitchell-Mumma encourages parents to send messages to teachers via the Skyward system or the Remind app that many teachers are using, which offers a way to send a secure text message.

“We see a drop in communication (between parents and teachers) in middle school, but middle school students still need parent involvement and teacher-parent communication is still really important,” she says. “Kids are getting more challenging work and projects are spread out over time. If parents and teachers are communicating about those new tasks the students are exposed to, it really helps kids navigate the new ways of learning and the new types of assignments.

“It is not just during conference time, but we are encouraging more contact with teachers.”

For the upcoming November conferences, Mitchell-Mumma encourages parents to log into Skyward and sign up early for their preferred slot, especially those evening times. LMS will use the Skyward system only for seventh and eighth grade students. Sixth grade teachers will still work with parents to schedule as many conferences as possible.