F’s - contacting home

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by JimG, May 3, 2018.

  1. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    May 3, 2018

    How diligent are you at contacting home when a student has an F? Are you able to jump on it right away? Do you have set time intervals in the semester where you make a point to contact home for any kids with an F or even a low D? Do you even do it with every kid with an F since parents can access their kids’ grades online now?

    I am thinking about making a rule for myself next year to contact every F parent at the quarter mark and then with six weeks left in the semester when time is getting more dire. With that, I feel like I can say I have done my part and then put it on the kid and parent to monitor the grade and get their act together.
     
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  3. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    I feel like once a month could be better. Maybe make pre-made notices to send home in between. I feel like once a month could leave parents enough notice to help their child but also leave no wiggle room to have an angry parent wonder how long they have had an F for.
     
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  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We have to turn in a contact log 4 times a year, roughly when progress reports are issued. I try to call: after major projects, if there's a major change in effort or attitude, at least twice before each log is due.
     
  5. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    May 21, 2018

    Once we went to online grades, it became the parent's responsibility to check the website for their kids' grades. We had enough to do. So, no phone calls.
     
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  6. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    In my classroom, when report card time comes around, I override any failing grade and give the student an automatic 65%.
    With that said, if a student is failing (or in more appropriate terms for my situation...."having significant difficulty in the core subject"), I contact the parents when this is the case. Communication is necessary for my classroom. I give daily behavioral and academic reports, weekly comments, and monthly progress reports. Blah...blah...blah...

    If, for some reason, a grade can not be overridden and the student ends up with a 64% or below, I contact the parents to come in for an academic meeting. During this meeting, we discuss a new academic plan and revise the IEP as needed such as more intervention team time.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Why would you pass a student who is failing?
     
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  8. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    May 22, 2018

    To me this reads like, "If I can't fake the grades, I have no choice but to give more services. I'd prefer to fake the grades, but sometimes I just can't."

    This sounds so unethical.
     
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  9. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    It sounds to me like Teacher234 serves special education students. In my area, special education students cannot fail a class unless the teacher can prove all accommodations on the IEP were followed. If they were all followed, and the student is still failing, a conference will be had where the accommodations will be changed to better suit the student’s needs and allow them to be successful. After all, isn’t that the point of an IEP?
     
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  10. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Students are passed if teacher's didn't do their job. Isn't that unethical too? Shouldn't the school then have to provide compensatory services for the lack of following the IEP?

    So, how many teachers are going to claim they failed to follow the IEP since that is illegal?
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 22, 2018

    We are required to notify parents well before report cards go home if a student is not meeting either academic or behaviour expectations.
     
  12. MrTempest

    MrTempest Comrade

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    May 22, 2018

    In today’s world, the notion that a teacher needs to make such frequent contact with the parents regarding grades needs to be reevaluated. With parental access to up to date grades, many via apps, and along with progress reports, the burden of being proactive regarding concerns needs to be shifted more to the parent.
    Now, this may not be the case for primary education with one teacher seeing one class all day. But by continuing this notion that once in high school a teacher NEEDS to keep in frequent contact with parents sets up a scenario where the parents are relieved from accountability.
     
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  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I completely agree with this. Oh, I get the ideal of contacting parents about failing grades, but modern technology rather does fulfill that role.

    I have even seen the same argument for getting rid of regular parent teacher conferences (you know, the kind held twice a year or whenever) because of the technological access and ability to communicate. The conferences are almost superfluous.
     
  14. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I agree with this in theory, but the reality is that a huge part of our population either doesn't have access to technology, doesn't know how to use the technology, doesn't have the time (working multiple jobs), or don't speak English, or didn't come from an educated background and don't know how to best support their kids. We have to reach out to these families in order to help them support their kids.
     
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  15. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    May 22, 2018

    I actually don't agree that technology should do the communicating for the same reasons I don't think kids should learn without a teacher. Because teachers matter in this process. When I am contacting parents about a failing grade it isn't just to tell them the child is failing but also to talk to them about what we can do (together) to support their child. A computer program can't build the relationship for me.
     
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  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    No, the technology doesn't built the relationship, but I don't know if the brunt of the parent knowing of the failing grade should be on the teacher. Keep in mind there is also a population of parents with the philosophy that at a certain age/grade they refuse to check most grades, believing it to their child's responsibility (this being a different philosophy from parents who simply don't care). There's a strong possibility that being the first informant of a bad grade reaches either the former (I'm okay with this philosophy) who will put it back on their kid anyway or the latter, in which you have bigger problems.
     
  17. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    I honestly have no idea. It is a district policy for my type of classroom.
     
  18. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    I can't control the policies of my district. I just give the automatic 65% and work on a new approach to providing instruction to the student, so the next quarter does not result in this outcome.
     
  19. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    When a student gets an F or D on a test, I email the parents with the information as well as some tips to help with studying in the future. If I note that they may have misunderstood a concept specifically, I may also forward some practice work (particularly in Math or Grammar).
     
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  20. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Comrade

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    May 23, 2018

     
  21. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    I am aware that this policy is unique to my district. It just has to do with the report card system. Some districts give students an automatic 50 (if their quarter grade is 49 or below).

    While I provide all supports, I always make sure my students pass with a 65%. It is what goes on the report card. This automatic 65 plan is used, if all else fails.
    It is kind of like a safety net for students in a special class setting/special needs in a GE Classroom.
    I can not really justify this thoroughly. I just have to follow the policy.
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    May 23, 2018

    I just want to make sure I understand. If the students grades are lower than 65%, at the end of the quarter the computer system will automatically raise it to a 65%. Am I correct? If so, you should let the computer do so. That way there is always a record of the student's real performance - your grade and the log in the system that indicates the grade was raised. You may never see this log, but all computer systems have them with an identification marker of who, in this case the system, adjusted the grade.

    You also said if they are lower than a 65%, you adjust the plan as needed. Does this mean that since you always ensure your students get a 65% their services never really have to be adjusted because you always make sure they get a 65%?

    Just a bit more confused after your second post, but I do appreciate the reply.
     
  23. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Hahahahahah 65 never felt more alive!!!!!!! Whatta system!
     
  24. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I contact far less than I used to. We have an online system so parents can check any time. Even though we do have some students that have fewer resources, I have never come across a parent that did not have a smart phone.

    Now I only contact if I see a drastic change in grades or when I have to cover my butt. Very, very rarely has contacting parents ever had a positive outcome for me or a change in academic performance.

    We apparently cannot fail a senior, thereby keeping him from graduating, unless we have spoken with his parent first. Sending emails or having bad phone numbers do not matter. If we have not personally spoken to a parent, the child must be passed. I had a rough time a few years ago when a student who was 20 came back after dropping out. He failed my class miserably. He was living independently and had no parent contact information at all. My boss tried to tell me I had to change his grade to passing since I had not spoken to his mother. I refused to accept that responsibility.
     
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  25. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    We have this exact same policy -- it's a total CYA for the district.
     
  26. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I email parents a few times a quarter. It's not so much to let them know about the grade as it is a chance for me to share ways for their student to bring the grade up. I also list my available times for extra help. I do think reaching out at least once is a good idea if only to CYA.
     
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  27. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    If the student receives a failing grade in any class, I override the grade with a 65%. If I have to override the grade, I will revise their academic plan and/or help them improve using a different approach. It has nothing to do with their abilities or services. To my knowledge, it solely has to do with how the overall GPA looks. We can not retain the students anyways for reasons related to their grades (unless they seem to have a significant academic difficulty). This is the case for grades in my type of classes. I hope this helps. It is a little difficult to explain this, because I did not come up with it. (Have some students ended up failing quarters in my class before? Yes, it has happened.)
     
  28. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    We are supposed to contact parents when their child is sent to time out, is consistently missing work, is failing. We have to log the contacts including a quick blurb about who we contacted, result, etc. In my experience, depending on parents checking the online grade book is not reliable because the ones who do so on a regular basis are either helicopter parents who are calling every day or parents who are involved with supporting their kids and encouraging them to do better. Do I always keep up with it? No. I do my best. Sometimes kids are just having an off day and need a class period to pull things together in time out. I don't always call for that the first time.

    As far as grading for students with special needs, I generally grade on effort more than accuracy in conjunction with my SPED co-teacher. Having special needs does not always mean a passing grade.
     
  29. Aces

    Aces Devotee

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    My classes are structured in such a way that the only way you can fail is lack of effort on your part. I mean, c'mon. Quizzes and tests are TAKE HOME. You have an entire week to complete homework assignments (which are generally not a full week's worth of work). Labs are usually 2-3 week projects, but detailed notes are given and explained ahead of time. If you can't be bothered to try, I can't be bothered to care about you failing. And yes...students do fail.
     

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