CMSD NEWS BUREAU
CMSD schools have had face-to-face contact with a majority of families this school year, reporting particularly strong numbers at the K-8 level.
Through the end of the third quarter, K-8 schools had seen 76.3 percent of students’ families and caregivers, according to a District report.
“Almost eight out of 10 parents have come to their children’s schools,” Chief Academic Officer Michelle Pierre-Farid said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
The showing was not as strong in high schools, which communicated face to face with 57 percent of students’ parents and caregivers. Pierre-Farid said that number is “not where we want to be” and that efforts will be made to increase participation.
The Cleveland Plan, a customized reform plan written into state law, calls for parents and caregivers of all students to visit the children’s schools by Dec. 15 each year. Before this school year, the District did not keep data on contact with parents, so no figures are available for comparison.
The law does not penalize parents who fail to comply; nonetheless, the District worked beyond the deadline to foster communication. Schools counted parent-teacher conferences, open houses where parents or caregivers had substantive conversations with teachers and other personal visits.
“We’ve changed our behavior by promoting it a lot more than we have in the past,” said Michele Pomerantz, a policy and labor liaison for Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon. She said the statistics form a good baseline on which to improve.
CMSD has taken steps to make conferences more appealing to parents and caregivers, including providing them with data on their children’s tests and progress made toward graduation.
Under a proposed 2014-15 school calendar, first-quarter interim progress reports would be released during the week of open houses, not after as in the past. And hours on the two days set aside each year for parent-teacher conferences would stretch into the evening instead of occurring only during the day.