I have been getting some questions this afternoon (Sunday) regarding Parent-Teacher Conferences and whether those will still be held since they were going to be done over the phone or remotely anyhow. Below you will find a letter in its entirety that I prepared yesterday and was going to send home with each student tomorrow addressing conferences.
Dear HSES Parent/Guardian,
After much careful thought over the weekend I have made the difficult decision to postpone our spring Parent/Teacher conferences. There are three main reasons that went into this decision. The first is HSES is not equipped to deliver Parent/Teacher conferences in remote ways. There would need to be a great deal of training offered to staff on various ways to make virtual conferences happen as it is not possible to hold all our conferences by phone. Quite simply, there is not enough time to deliver training on the different ways to hold a virtual conference by Thursday. The second is the value of face-to-face meetings and the ability to share work and compare the growth students have made from last fall to date cannot be minimized. One thing the Nezinscot region has taken great pride in is being able to conference with our parents twice a year to share the progress of each child. I have a difficult time thinking anything done virtually can come close to matching the quality of a face-to–face meeting. The third is the reality that our teachers need time to begin preparing for remote learning in case that is what is needed for a period of time. Preparing lessons themselves takes a great deal of time. Preparing lessons that will need to be done remotely will take even more time. The postponement of Parent/Teacher conferences will give our teachers more time to get started on this task.
In this uncertain time, I keep repeating in my mind the adage “prepare for the worst, hope for the best.” I truly believe the best thing our staff can do is follow that adage and we will need time to do so.
I will update you regarding Parent/Teacher conferences when there is something to share. Thanks for your understanding!
Ryan R. Wilkins
Hartford-Sumner Elementary School
Also, since it is now Sunday afternoon and the reality of the situation is upon us, I am going to ask teachers to focus all of their energies of preparing for remote learning. Therefore, I will not be asking teachers to worry about getting report cards out for the foreseeable future. Thanks for your understanding during this unique and trying time for all of us.