Conferences to be held virtually Nov. 4–5

Parents, teachers meet over Zoom

Virtual+conferences+will+take+place+Nov.+4-5.+Each+family+should+receive+a+link+via+email+through+the+school+support+app+to+set+up+meetings.

Emily Ziessman

Virtual conferences will take place Nov. 4-5. Each family should receive a link via email through the school support app to set up meetings.

Sam Listiak

To keep parents and staff safe, Park has made parent teacher conferences virtual. German teacher Shari Fox said she believes the safety virtual conferences offer makes them the correct choice.

“When we were told we were going to have conferences (online), I wasn’t surprised because it would be foolish to have them in-person,” Fox said. “With the number of infections rising as rapidly as it is, it seems like it would be a terrible idea to have (conferences) in-person.”

Social Emotional Learning Teacher Kerstin Merrill said that while she is worried by the short time frame, she believes that conferences can still benefit families while being done virtually.

“(Conferences) are going to be shorter than usual, which concerns me,” Merrill said. “It provides an opportunity for all parents to connect with teachers and get questions answered. I just hope we can use the time and get everything done in the 8–9 minutes that we have.”

Junior Julian Johnson said he feels conferences might be less beneficial in a virtual format.

“I feel like conferences will be less effective online,” Johnson said. “People will be less responsible in showing up on time and will pay less attention.”

“Nothing replaces person-to-person talking and the relationship building piece will be missed. That time to meet with a family and talk to parents and guardians is a good time to discuss student’s needs.”

— Kerstin Merrill

Merrill said while virtual conferences may not be the same as in-person, it is still important to meet and discuss with students and their families.

“Nothing replaces person-to-person talking and the relationship building piece will be missed,” Merrill said. “That time to meet with a family and talk to parents and guardians is a good time to discuss student’s needs.”

Junior Asher Danicic said he feels technical issues may cause a big problem, especially for those unfamiliar with the virtual format.

“I think people who have tech issues and miss the conferences will feel really bad.” he said. “I feel like (tech issues) could affect up to half of the student body, and it will be a big problem for people who don’t know much about tech.”

Fox said sitting in front of a screen for so long can be draining after already teaching virtual classes on it for the whole day.

“(Conferences) are exhausting,” Fox said. “When you spend 8 hours a day in front of a computer screen, tacking four more on is really hard.”

Each family should receive a link via email through the school support app to set up meetings.