Concerns discussed with low parent-teacher conference attendance in Braham

Braham Area High School Principal Justin Sawyer discussed parent-teacher conference attendance during the Nov. 19 school board meeting, and some board members had concerns.

In 10th grade, 69 percent of parents attended conferences, while 50 percent of parents attended conferences for eighth graders. Sawyer said eighth graders are the group of students who struggle the most, so he sees a possible correlation with the number of parents who attended conferences Nov. 13 and 15.

“It wasn’t a big surprise to me that that was our lowest attendance,” he said. “I think there’s a little correlation between parental support and how things are getting done. It’s definitely a concern.”

Board member Zane Braund asked whether there was anything more the school could do to encourage parents to attend conferences. Sawyer said the school has a website for parents to check their child’s progress, and they can sign up for weekly or daily email notifications.

“Generally the parents that come to the high school are the ones getting As and Bs,” board member Dan Klemz said.

Part of the struggle, Sawyer said, is that the conferences aren’t scheduled. Elementary school teachers have 20 to 30 students, whereas high school teachers see over 100 students.

“That’s a struggle to get those parents to come in without having scheduled conferences,” he said. “So maybe there is a way we can look into the future of trying to target some of our more at-risk students to get their parents through the doors.”

Consideration of the Final 2012 Payable 2013 Property Tax Levy will be an item on the Dec. 17 meeting agenda. Anyone with questions is encouraged to attend.