Schools report high number of parent-teacher meetings

COVINGTON - About 83 percent of the September elementary school parent-teacher conferences that were scheduled were actually held during that time, the Newton County School System announced at its Board of Education work session earlier this month.

Kenneth Proctor, NCSS elementary curriculum director, said that is a high percentage.

The number held could actually be higher - he said some of the schools report rescheduled conferences, while other schools do not.

"Sometimes conferences are not held due to parents deciding to meet with teachers before the early release days," said Linda Hayden, associate superintendent for instruction at NCSS. "Some parents decide to have a telephone conference instead."

Other parents decide not to have a conference if their students' grades have improved or some parents end up having a conflict on those days that does not permit them to attend, she said.

"A few are just no shows," Hayden said.

Some of the schools, including West Newton Elementary, Middle Ridge Elementary and Porterdale Elementary, had more than 150 conferences that weren't held on conference days, and all but four elementary schools had numbers in the 100s.

"No parent is denied a conference, and teachers and administrators will make time to meet with parents at the parents' convenience," Proctor said.

Hayden said conferences are always rescheduled when a parent or guardian makes that request.

"Teachers and administrators make every attempt to reach parents at least once or more during fall semester," Hayden said. "The opportunity for a conference is available for all students and parents or guardians."

At Mansfield Elementary School, where only 25 scheduled conferences weren't held during the September conference days, Principal G. W. Davis said his school has always emphasized the importance of parent-teacher conferences.

"The teachers are told to do all they can possibly do to get the parents in," Davis said. "The teachers will make the calls, and if the parents don't come in, sometimes they tell me who they are, and I'll often call them."

He said some conferences that weren't held were rescheduled for the week before or after conference week because some of the classes are so large that it's impossible for the teachers to hold a conference for every child during the conference days.

"Our parents are very responsive," he said. "They appreciate and value education and really come in. (The conferences) are the highlight of our year because it's like a reunion."

The next parent-teacher conferences for Newton County public schools will be held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

SideBar: At A Glance

School - Total Scheduled - Total Held

East Newton Elementary - 508 - 430

Fairview Elementary - 815 - 712

Ficquett Elementary - 709 - 557

Heard-Mixon Elementary - 411 - 370

Livingston Elementary - 889 - 766

Mansfield Elementary - 461 - 436

Middle Ridge Elementary - 620 - 445

Oak Hill Elementary - 796 - 669

Palmer Stone Elementary - 669 - 576

Porterdale Elementary - 633 - 461

Rocky Plains Elementary - 765 - 660

West Newton Elementary - 973 - 775