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Reflections from Katie: November 3, 2017

The fall parent conferences are upon us, and I wanted to be sure that you all know about the importance of these conferences, and what makes conferences at Cambridgeport unique. During the November conference, you will receive a checklist of skills and a habits of mind target report, and in 1st-5th grades, you will have your child participate in a portion of the conference.

The checklist of skills is based on the Massachusetts standards at each grade level.
We use a three-point scale for these checklists. Your child may be meeting this standard, meeting the standard with support, or not yet meeting the standard. Thus, you will see on the checklist:

Met = M
Met with Support = MWS
Not Yet Met = NYM

If you see Not Yet Met on your child’s report card, this should indicate a concern. This means your child has been taught this concept, but has not understood it. If you have not already done so, you should reach out to your child’s teacher to find out how you can support their learning at home.

During the conference, you will also discuss your child’s progress as it relates to the Habits of Mind, and receive a set of Habits of Mind targets to help you understand this progress.

Finally, please remember to have your child present for the conference (1st-5th grade). There are many benefits to involving students in conferences, as we do at Cambridgeport. But last year, as I was participating in a conference as a parent, I stumbled upon yet another benefit that I had never considered before. During a parent-teacher-student conference, the parents get to see how the teacher interacts with their child. Parents see the kinds of questions that get a child talking, the kinds of prompts that extend thinking, and quite simply, the interaction between child and teacher that is so very different from a parent-child interaction. Not only does this give a parent new tools for supporting their child, but it also builds trust. While I certainly never had a lack of trust of any of my daughter’s teachers, seeing the relationship between teacher and child unfold before my eyes deepened that trust in a powerful way.

We truly believe in the power of partnership. These points of contact and sharing of information should form a foundation for working together in service of your child’s success, both academic and social-emotional. The parent-teacher-student conference is a great opportunity to ask your child’s teacher for specific areas they think your child should focus attention. It is also an opportunity for you to work with your child and your child’s teacher to set goals for the year. Thank you for making time to work collaboratively with us for your child’s success.