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Parents and teachers; partners in student achievement

By Jean McDermott
Pacelli President/Principal

A key ingredient for educational achievement is the parent-teacher conference. Conferences for Pacelli Catholic School students will be held on Feb. 12-13 for all students from preschool through 12th grade. 

Middle and high school students will be conducting student-led conferences. Pre K-grade 6 will be holding traditional conferences. To make sure that conferences are successful for both parents and teachers, the NEA (National Education Association) has come up with a list of what educators would like parents to know.

The first on the list:

Show up, please! 

“We know parents are busy, but it is important to carve out time to invest in your child’s education and ensure success at school,” said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. “To get the most out of parent-teacher conferences, parents need to take an active role in their child’s education year-round and come prepared to discuss how their child can reach their full potential.”

Get ready

Do your homework prior to parent-teacher conferences. Prepare by writing notes to yourself concerning:

  1. Any questions about the school’s programs or policies,
  2. Things you can share with the teacher about your child and his life at home,
  3. Questions about your child’s progress. 

Ask important questions

Don’t be afraid to engage in a frank conversation with your child’s teacher. Your goal is to develop an action plan for your child’s success at school. Good questions to ask the teacher include:

  1. What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
  2. How does my child get along with classmates?
  3. Is my child working up to her ability? Where could she use improvement?
  4. What can we do at home to support what you are doing in the classroom?

Initiate the action plan

Start immediately on the action plan you and the teacher put together. Discuss the plan with your child and track his progress. Stay in touch with your child’s teacher throughout the year with regularly scheduled “report card” conferences that can keep the communication lines open.

“Parents are the best resource for a child to make the grade,” Van Roekel said. “When teachers and parents work together, we can help a child have a successful school year.”

In addition to meeting for conferences, parents are also able to begin the registration process for the 2020-2021 school year.  Registration for preschool through grade 12 begins on Feb. 12. Early bird registration fees are available through April 3. Registration materials are available on our website and in the school office. Families new to Pacelli may contact the school office to schedule a time to tour the school and/or have their child spend some time in a classroom.

If you are interested in learning more about Pacelli Catholic Schools visit our website at www.pacellischools.org, email admin@pacellischools.org or call 507-437-3278.

Singing Valentines

The Pacelli Honor Choir will once again be celebrating Valentine’s Day with Singing Valentines.  Surprise your loved one with a valentine serenade!  A flower and a song will be delivered anywhere in Austin for $25.  Song choices are “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” or “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Delivery times are 10 a.m. to noon. and 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14.  Call 507-437-3278 or email kkahle@pacellischools.org to arrange for a Singing Valentine for your sweetheart.