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Parent-Teacher Conference Letter Template

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Parent-teacher conferences are a great time to touch base with the parents of your students. This lesson plan outlines the criteria necessary for the event and provides a template letter you can use to invite parents and organize their time slots.

Parent-Teacher Conference Basics

You and your students have been working hard for weeks and now it's time to let parents know how their little ones are doing in your classroom. If you're like most teachers, you have some great information to share with parents - academic achievements, social growth, and proud moments. You've kept detailed notes on each student and have report cards ready to go. Now what?

Parents are just as eager to get in the door and hear about their children, so you're next step is to create an invitation that helps organize the event. This can be a tricky move; many parents have limited time availability, and so do you. Instead of having parents just show up and wait, it's a smarter move to send a conference letter, indicating available time slots and allowing parents to commit to a time.

Time Slots for the Parent-Teacher Conference Letter

When drafting a parent-teacher conference letter, you first need to check with administration to determine the time your school is hosting conferences. Let's imagine you will be having conferences on a Friday from 9:00 - 4:30. That's seven hours, minus a 30 minute lunch break. Now we know you have seven hours to host families.

Next, figure out how much time you can give to each student and their parent/guardian. For example, if you have 20 students and seven hours, you can't give each family 30 minutes - that will only leave room for 14 students. If you give offer each family 15 minutes, you'll have time for 28 students - more than you need, but this will give you some wiggle-room for parents who are running late or who may take a little more time. Play around with time slots to determine which is best for our time needs.

Creating a Parent-Teacher Conference Letter

Now that we know what our times look like, we need to get organized. The thinking behind the sign-up letter is a three-step process. First, the letter goes home to families, either via email or with students. Families are given a chance to show their first, second and third choice for preferred time slots. These are honored on a first-come, first-served basis. So if Jimmy and Ellen's parents both want that 9:00 time slot, but Jimmy returns the letter first, it goes to him.

The letter needs to clearly state these 'rules' as well as include a section for verifying the assigned time. You'll also want to include a brief statement so parents understand what to expect. Finally, make sure you have a portion to keep for your own records. Let's take a look at how this all fits together.

Parent-Teacher Conference Letter Template

Dear Parents:

On Friday, March 21st, we'll be hosting our third quarter parent-teacher conferences. I can't wait to meet with you and share all your students' hard work! Conferences begin at 9:00 and end at 4:30. Each family will have 15 minutes to review and discuss your child's work. If we need more time, we'll schedule a follow-up appointment.

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