Parents and Guardians of Patapsco Knights:
We are happy to see so many of you have already been able to successfully schedule conferences with our staff during the fall conference window. In the last hour, the system has been overloaded by parents who are anxious to claim their conference slots. That has created a slow response time for access to HCPSS Connect. We ask you to be patient as this is not a school-based issue, but a county-wide one. In addition to sharing that information, I need to restate some guidelines and add some limitations to what I shared with you last week.
As I stated in my newsletter on Friday, this is a good opportunity for you to have a quick ‘touch base’ meeting with teachers for whom you have questions or for classes where there may be concerns you’d like to quickly explore. In the message to you about conferences, I also asked you to be strategic and to limit your schedule strictly to places where there are pressing concerns out of courtesy to your neighbors. I did not place a limit on the number of conferences you would be permitted to engage in. However, after reviewing the morning report, I find a limit is going to be necessary to ensure access to staff by all of our community members.
Therefore, we are asking all families to limit conference selections to 3-4 meetings. If you have already scheduled more than 3-4 conferences, please log back in and prioritize your conference schedule. Beginning tomorrow morning, we will review the schedules and edit the lists to ensure compliance with this limitation. As we identify individuals who have scheduled more than 3-4, we will make a determination regarding which conferences to cancel on your behalf. It would probably be best if you were to make those decisions yourself. As you decide where to spend your time, consider student performance: a student earning 85-100% in any given class typically does not require a trip to school to talk about progress with the teacher.
Additionally, in the directions, we suggested you do not schedule your conferences back-to-back. This is recommended in order to keep you on schedule and to permit you the full ten minutes of time to actually meet with each teacher. When conferences are scheduled back-to-back, you will have to use a portion of your ten minute slot to travel from classroom to classroom - that time will be deducted from your 10 minute slot. If you forgot to build in this necessary travel time, you will want to revisit your schedule and work that out.
If you feel it is necessary to meet with more than 3-4 of your students teachers, please contact Student Services to discuss your needs. I appreciate your eagerness to meet with staff and understand limitations may be frustrating. Please understand the necessity for this: middle school teachers have 130-150 students on their rosters and only 65 slots to meet with parents during this particular conference window. Therefore, there have to be limitations - either self-imposed or school regulated - to ensure teacher time is not monopolized by a few.
As you prepare for the coming weeks, please do not forget to schedule time to come to school for American Education Week and sit in on classes. This is another way to see what’s happening in your student's classes.
I appreciate you for understanding and for helping to ensure wider access to our staff,
Cindy Dillon, Principal