Q&A: Parent-Teacher Conferences

Answer: In most traditional school settings, parent-teacher conferences are common in grades K-6. There are many reasons for a parent-teacher conference to be held, including to help parent and teacher become acquainted on a more personal level, to discuss the student's strengths and weaknesses, to identify a plan to help the student succeed in school, and to have a conversation about how the student is performing both academically and socially in the classroom.

It will ultimately depend on the particular online school your child attends whether a parent-teacher conference will be conducted. Many online school programs offer an abundance of communication between the teacher and the student's family, since it will be up to the parents to keep the child motivated and completing school work at a reasonable speed. Assignments and comments from the teacher are often posted on a message board or in the virtual classroom. In many online school settings, the teacher is available during specified hours of the day by phone and almost always by email. Also, assignments will likely be graded and returned to the student in a reasonable amount of time, allowing you and your child to receive clear feedback from their instructor on a regular basis.

Some online schools require students to visit a physical classroom to take tests in person. It is possible that these schools may offer parents a time to meet their child's teacher face-to-face to have a conference or discuss the student's educational progress. Regardless if your child's online school offers a parent-teacher conference or not, it is important for you to keep the lines of communication open with their teachers, ask questions when they arise, and keep the child on pace to complete all school work necessary to be successful as an online student.

Christi WilsonChristi Wilson is a credentialed teacher of highly-gifted students in Northern Nevada. She has 11 years of classroom teaching experience, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in education leadership, and has even taught K-12 education online. A mother of three busy boys, she knows how important it is to keep students engaged in the classroom and interested in a lifetime of learning.