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Conferences: time’s up!

Sydney Cournoyer, Staff Contributor

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Fall 2016 was the first trial of timed conferences at Pleasant Valley High School. Before this new practice, parents stood in lines outside of teachers’ doors for very long periods of time while parents inside the classroom continued to speak with each teacher for an unlimited period of time. This resulted in long waits and hours to be added to the end of conferences. Both parents and teachers called for a change.

This year, the practice of timed conferences continued. Each conference lasts for a total of six minutes during which guardians and parents are able to speak with their children’s teacher. This is a positive change for teachers who had previously had lines out the door because they now will not have to stay hours past the scheduled end time. But many wonder if six minutes is enough time to talk.

“I like the new system,” technology teacher Danielle Davenport commented. “We can see what parents sign up for conferences so we can prepare and know what we will say ahead of time.” The time factor doesn’t negatively affect the teachers because they know who they will see so they can have their speech ready and do not have to make it up on the spot.

Teachers now know exactly what parents they will see before each conference starts and parents will know what time to show up. Math teacher Megan Dixon agrees with Davenport. Dixon comments, “The six minute conferences allow teachers to be more organized and for the meetings to be higher quality. The downside would be there are [fewer] people to meet with.” There are a set amount of time slots available, so parents signing up late do not have a chance to obtain a spot.

Parents at conferences also gave the new system a positive review. “I like the six minute conferences because I schedule my kids right away and I get to see twice as many teachers as I did before. I have two kids and it was difficult to wait in line and make it to all of their teachers. This system makes it easier,” Jenny Halupnik commented. Dr. Anne Budde agrees: “I like how the teachers are on a schedule. It makes everything much easier.”

For Pleasant Valley parents, teachers, and students alike, it seems as if the new conference procedure is the easiest process for all. It looks as though the six-minute conferences will continue in future school years.

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Conferences: time’s up!