A Note from Dr. Dickemper

A Message From The Principal
Posted on 09/20/2017

Wow. That was quick. It’s already time for parent-teacher conferences. This year the district will be holding elementary conferences on October 2 and October 5. Please contact your homeroom teacher if you have not already secured a conference time. Also know that you are welcome to contact your child’s teacher at any time if you have any questions or input. It’s my goal for there to be no surprises during conferences, but that can only happen if there is constant communication between the classroom and home. Conferences are a great chance to formalize this communication and leave both sides feeling accomplished in helping our students meet their potential. I’d like to suggest these tips to make conferences go even smoother.

  1. Assume good will on both sides.I have every faith that our parents are doing everything possible to provide their children with opportunities and support their education. Teachers are working just as hard. We consider your children to be our children. Approaching conferences with this mindset allows for immediate collaboration.

  2. Ask specific questions about specific skills. We are only given a short amount of time to meet during conferences. The teachers will provide a general overview of the progress that is being made in the classroom.I recommend that parents arrive with specific questions in mind so that everything important was covered beyond the provided overview. I want our parents to leave conferences satisfied.

  3. Deepen the relationship between home and school. There are things that parents can do to support learning beyond homework. There are also things that teachers may need to be aware of from home that potentially impact learning in the classroom. Sharing this information during conferences allows parents and teachers to be on the same page.

  4. Walk away with celebrations in mind. I remember the anxiety of wondering what my mom would discuss with my teacher during parent and teacher conferences. You probably do too. Remember that kids are not like light switches. Learning is not either turned on or turned off. Learning happens in phases. Students acquire information and skills. They then build fluency with the information and skills. Students then gain the ability to transfer the information and skills into new settings. Finally, this information gets combined and synthesized with prior knowledge for entirely new outcomes. This is how we train our brains to do everything from learning how to ride a bike to completing algebraic equations. Praise and celebrate the efforts that students are making in whatever phases of learning they are demonstrating.  

I will be attending a number of conferences for multiple reasons. Please feel free to track me down if I am not attending the conference of your child and you have a question or a suggestion. Thank you again for participating in this important element of the school year.

Dr. Chad S. Dickemper Principal Oakville Elementary

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