Parent-Teacher Conference Tips

Parents- I found this article from NAESP in my files and wanted to share it with you.  Hope you find it helpful! – Kate

     The essential foundation of school-community cooperation has always been-and always will be- the parent-school partnership.  Nobody knows your child as well as you do.  This is why taking part in parent-teacher conferences is one of the most important ways you can help your child succeed in school.

     Conferences help you monitor your child’s progress at school.  They help you nip problems in the bud.  They provide an opportunity to make plans for students with special needs.  They help parents truly get acquainted with the school and the teacher.

     Similarly, conferences help teachers understand the whole child and develop individualized instruction.  The teacher becomes better able to suggest effective ways parents can help students.  In short, the parent and the teacher form a trust-building partnership.  The resulting home-school alliance helps the child build self-esteem and learn to value doing well in school.

    Here are some tips on how to make the most of your conferences with your teacher:

  • Plan the time.  For working parents and those with young children it can be tough to find time for conferences.  One answer might lie in using vacation time.  Or perhaps your employer will let you make up the time or allow a coworker to cover for you.  If necessary, swap babysitting favors with a friend.  If you totally run out of possibilities and have absolutely no alternative, arrange a telephone conference.
  • Both parents should attend, or at least take turns attending, so the child feels the support of both parents.  Remarried parents might invite their new spouses to help foster a blended family unity.  It is helpful if noncustodial or shared parents participate, especially if the child spends time in both homes.  If necessary, the school will hold two separate conferences.
  • Involve your child.  Ask your child if he or she wants you to discuss something special at the meeting.  Find out what your child likes and dislikes most about school, what is easy and what is hard, and how school could be better.  (And remember to share the results of the meeting, good and bad, with your child.)
  • Make a list of questions.  jot down matters you want to ask the teacher about:  How does your child get along with other students?  Participate in class?  Follow rules?  What are his or her strengths and weaknesses?  Is progress taking place, and is it steady?  Does the teacher work with the child in special ways?  How can you help?
  • Share information.  Tell the teacher about any major events at home (positive or negative), such as a new baby…what seems to be the development of a medical condition…the death of a relative or favorite pet…separation or divorce or remarriage…a job change…a grandparent or step-siblings moving into the home…money problems.  The teacher will treat the information confidentially and will be able to respond appropriately to your child when these events have an impact at school-which they usually do!
  • Take a cooperative attitude.  Your child benefits from knowing his teacher and parents are working together to help him succeed.  If your child has a serious problem at school (academic or social), it is imperative to participate in the meeting in a calm manner.  If tempers flare, neither you nor the teacher can concentrate on developing a joint plan of action to solve your child’s problems.  If the problems are not resolved to your satisfaction, you may want to schedule a follow-up meeting with staff specialists or the principal.
  • Impromptu conferences can help, too.  Make appointments for intermittent meetings if a problem suddenly surfaces.  A teacher may also request an intermediate visit.  Many problems can be solved if they are addressed immediately.  Impromptu meetings, coupled with regular grading-period visits, help teacher, parent, and student stay on the right track.


Get ready for some “spooktacular” fun in first grade! 

The Disney Halloween Carnival is coming! On Friday, October 29th first graders will visit the CAC for fun games and dancing. More details coming home in backpack mail soon. Here are some highlights:

  • Costumes will be worn all day. Children should arrive at school in costume.
  • No weapons or masks with costumes.
  • Label all small pieces (ie: crowns, gloves, capes)
  • Treats may be sent to school for take-home goody bags. All treats must be individually wrapped or non-edible (We have 29 students in 104.)
  • Volunteers are welcome to help at the morning Halloween Carnival. Check in at the main office and with Ms. Thompson for directions. Parents are required to have completed the online CPS volunteer process.

As always, please give me a call or send an email with any questions or concerns.

Reminder: No School Monday


There will be no classes for students on

Monday, October 11th

in recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This holiday honors indigenous people and cultures around the world. While there is no single definition for indigenous, indigenous people maintain close ties to their ancestral land and traditions. In the United States, some Americans celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of or along with Columbus Day.Enjoy the long weekend! – source: PBS

Progress Reports Today!

Your first grader has been working very hard these past weeks and it is time to celebrate that progress with a progress report!  The report includes your child’s current letter grade in each subject area, brief comments regarding his/her  strengths, and a recommendation of skills for home practice.

I am very proud of our class progress thus far and I thank you for all of your hard work at home each night.   We could not have accomplished so much in such a short time without your help!  Please sign and return the bottom of the progress report form as soon as possible.  If you would like to discuss your child’s progress in person I am available for brief conferences before school.  Please call or email to schedule an appointment.




Room 104 will enjoy some pirate themed fun on Friday! We will learn to talk like pirates, read pirate themed books, and earn some pirate booty for good behavior.  Here are a few words and phrases to continue the pirate fun at home tonight: (from

Captain Booty’s – Talk Like a Pirate – Crash Course

Ahoy! – An energetic greeting to yer fellow mate… like hello.

Aloft – A reference to climbin’ to or being among the sails above or upper rigging overhead on yer ship.

Articles – An agreement of behavior between th’ Captain an’ his crew.

Avast Ye! – A stern request to halt yer activity and listen up.

Aye! – Yes or I agree…

Aye Aye! – Yes, Captain… I’ll take care of it…ye can count on me.

Arrr! (an’ variations) – Arrr or similar (interjection to show excitement or pause) – Yarrr (agreement on yer mates comments) – Harrr (expresses amusement or laughter)

Bilge Rat! – A scoundrel… an’ a general insult lashed upon a shipmate.

Black Spot – A mark givin’ to a pirate of an impending doom… the mark of cursed soul!

Booty – A pirates treasure… make sure ye get yer share while playin’ a game o’ Crossbones matey!

Broadside – A discharge of all cannons… attackin’ the main (broad) part of an enemy ship.

Cap’n – A reference to a superior officer… Captain o’ the ship.

Davy Jones’ Locker – A final restin’ place at the bottom o’ the sea for drowned pirates. – See more at:

Return forms please!


Parents please take time this weekend to complete and return the school forms sent home the first day. I am collecting the emergency medical forms, medical information booklets, and the student signature page from the Code of Conduct book. Please contact me if you did not receive one of these forms. Have a great weekend!

UPDATE 9/10: Disney will pilot an online form collection program for the 2021-2022 school year. CPS will email families all Back-to-School documents and instructions next week.

Be Prepared! Be Safe!

Your child will be participating in three very important safety drills.  


This drill will be used in cases of severe weather emergencies.  During this drill, students will evacuate their classrooms and go to a safe interior location.  Students are instructed how to best protect their body from possible falling debris.


This drill is a “lockdown” drill and prepares students in the event of an intruder or unsafe situation within the school building.


This drill prepares students in the event that an emergency should arise during a bus ride to school or on a classroom field trip. A representative of the transportation company will instruct students how to safely use the emergency exits located on all school buses.

Your child’s well-being is my first priority.  If you have any further questions about these drills or any safety concerns regarding our school building please contact me by calling the school office or sending an email.

First Day News


We were very busy bees today!  The kids did a great job transitioning to the first grade schedule and expectations. Thank you parents for all of your help unpacking supplies this morning.  We were able to play more fun learning games with the time saved. The children also had a chance to explore our classroom reading materials and new math workbooks too. Please check backpacks tonight for important school forms. Don’t forget to sign and return the first page of the “Student Code of Conduct” book.   I look forward to seeing all of my new first grade friends tomorrow another exciting day!

-Kate Brannigan


Classroom Handbook

aug09_kidsWelcome to the 2021-2022 school year!  A copy of our classroom handbook was sent home to families the first week of school.  Click below to learn more about our classroom and school procedures: