Parent-Teacher Conferences Canceled Due to COVID 19

Grace Leeth, Staffwriter

  The Plainfield District 202 Board has decided to cancel parentteacher conferences for the 2021 school year due to Covid restrictions. 

   “As of right now, there are no scheduled dates to make-up parentteacher conferences.”  Chris Chlebek, principal, said.  

  There is a slim chance any formal parentteacher conferences will happen this school year. However, parents could contact their students’ teachers and express their concerns.  

  “To the best of my knowledge, we have not had any complaints from the parents,” Chlebek said.  

  Though parentteacher conferences are a great way to communicate with teachers about their students, parents seem to be unphased by the decision. 

  “As a whole, we have had more contact with parents than any time during my teaching experience,” Chlebek said. “There really is no need to have a formal parentteacher conference.”  

  Since moving to remote learning, both parents and teachers have stayed in touch through emails and phone calls.  While many parents have been pleased with the teachers’ efforts, communication often occurs when there is a concern. 

  “Parents are not reaching out to me often, and when they do it’s almost all negative,” Nathan Villa, biology teacher, said.  

  Every teacher’s experience with the parents is different. According to Villa, teachers miss the glimpses of positivity they would see at parentteacher conferences. However, they do have the chance to experience face-to-face communication.  

  According to Lane Abrell, district superintendent, parents can request a video conference with their student’s teacher. 

  If parents have any concerns, they have multiple ways to reach out to the teachers with the flexibility the schools have provided.  Parents are encouraged to reach out to teachers as often as possible. Talking to teachers through video calls helps them as well 

  “It’s always nice to sit dowand talk with parents about how their student is doing. It also gives me a window into the lives of my students,” Villa said.

  Conferences not only help with academics but also the mental and physical health of students. It is important for teachers to keep tabs on their students so they can be flexible with any issues. Students have adapted to remote learning and don’t seem too concerned about parent-teacher conferences.

  “The only complaint I’ve received was from my own son,” Chlebek said. “He’s upset that we don’t get two extra days off.”   

  Next fall, though not till next year, will hopefully restore some sort of normality to the school system and allow parents to communicate in person once again according to administration.

  “I anticipate some form of the traditional manner of parent-teacher conferences will be used next fall,” Abrell said.