Parent-teacher conferences can be daunting and sometimes uncomfortable, but they don’t have to be.

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, IPS will host Parents in Touch Day.

It’s the day when school is out for students and parents meet with teachers to discuss their child’s strengths and weaknesses, successes and goals for the school year. They also get to explore school offerings — everything from extracurricular activities to school clubs and athletic programming.

PIT Day is held at IPS elementary, middle and high schools throughout the district. Meetings should be scheduled in advanced through your child’s school.

To get the most out of PIT Day, here are a few tips to consider:

Make a list of questions you would like to ask prior to PIT Day. 

Questions can include, but are not limited to:

  • How involved is my child in class activities?
  • Is my child struggling in any subject?
  • In which subject is my child doing well?
  • What resources does the school have if my child needs help with homework?
  • How well does my child pay attention in class?
  • How can I best assist my child with homework?
  • How do you as the teacher handle late or incomplete assignments or making up homework, and what do you think about parental involvement with homework?
  • Please explain your grading system?
  • How do you handle disciplinary issues?
  • What are the graduation requirements and is my student on track? (for high school students).

Share information that will help school staff engage on a deeper level with your student.

Doing this could include strengths/challenges and interests of your child.

  • Share your thoughts about how your child learns best.
  • Provide important information about your child such as: disabilities, special interests, behavioral problems, and other special needs.

Ask your child to give you a list of topics they would like you to discuss with their teacher.

  • Include those topics during your parent-teacher conference.

Doing this allows your student to be part of their own educational process, which can be empowering.

Make a Follow-up Action Plan

Before the conference is over, decide the following with your child’s teacher:

  • How you will handle any problems or special issues.
  • When you will talk again. (Don’t wait until the next PIT Day.)
  • The best ways to keep in touch — via email or telephone.
  • Ask the teacher to provide updates if they see any changes in your child.