Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Making The Calls, Sending The Emails

It doesn't matter that our grades are online and can be accessed at any time. It doesn't matter that we've sent out progress reports three times so far just this semester. This week we have to notify parents of seniors who might not pass that their baby might not pass. For two of my five classes, not passing can mean not graduating.

What a crappy thing to have to tell people.

8 comments:

Rhymes With Right said...

We have had that policy for years, implemented after the cousin of a school board member found out that her baby wouldn't graduate from high school two days before graduation.

Her complaint was priceless -- "I don't know why the school stopped sending out report cards and progress reports after my son finished tenth grade. How am I as a parent supposed to know how my child is doing in school if you don't send them to me."

Mama was quite shocked to find out that, in the two years since her baby had finished tenth grade, there had been 12 progress reports and 11 report cards mailed to her home.

Scott McCall said...

well...maybe parents should be more involved. it's certainly not your guys' faults

Mr. W said...

in our district, if we don't make contact (not leaving a message) then the parents can actually come back and say they weren't told so they can change the grade from an F to a D. I love education!

KauaiMark said...

I'm sure that they already (or should) know already...

Mrs. C said...

I know I've seen very bad grades come home in the past and the explanation has been that this or that project hasn't been graded yet. Often this is actually true and the D I see is really a B after the megapoints get averaged in.

You really might be surprising some parents who looked at the grades and thought that things were ok... :(

Steve USMA '85 said...

You need a better perspective on giving folks bad news. For many years, I was a certified Starter and Stroke & Turn official for USA Swimming. Officiated at over a hundred swim sessions. I tell people, honestly, that I have NEVER disqualified a swimmer.

When they ask how I managed that, I answer very simply. The swimmer disqualified themself, I am just pointing it out to them. In other words, I did nothing wrong, nothing to be ashamed or upset over. The fault lies with the swimmer and any anxiety or angst should be on them, not me.

That attitude made it a lot easier to look an eight year-old in the face and tell him their best time in the Individual Medley didn't count because they didn't kick their legs in a correct manner.

Likewise, your students didn't do the work to standard. Not your fault and no reason to feel bad about it, considering of course that you set them up for success and they just didn't take advantage of it. I have a hard time believing that if the student tried in your class that they couldn't manage at least a passing grade.

Darren said...

I don't view their failure as my fault (especially when they have a 33% in class, but telling the parents is a lot sadder than telling the students themselves. The kids already know.

Ellen K said...

In one class of 30, I have seven students failing. I have called home, I have mailed progress reports home at my own expense. I have counseled and offered tutorials before and after school. I have offered retests. But in the end, the kids who don't care during the long term, don't care at the end either. I don't feel it is my job to pass them. Instead it is my job to report their failure to do the work to pass. I am not sure what will happen down the road to these kids, but I hope the IRS has fun listening to their excuses.