Parent Coffee Chats

We reduced parent anxiety and build stronger partnerships by inviting parents in for a series of Parent Coffee Chats.

Photo of Lauren Teather
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When students "level up" to new buildings (starting Middle School or High School) parents often have new questions and concerns about their child's new experience. By hosting a series of "Parent Coffee Chats" focusing on topics specific to new changes, parents have an opportunity to spend time in the building and classrooms, hear directly from the teachers, and get a sense of how things are being run in their child's new surroundings.  A bonus is that parents feel welcome in the building, and they see that others share their concerns and issues as their children "level up" through the years. 

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The topics for our Parent Coffee Chats this fall included curriculum , assessment, communication, and our online gradebook. For each one, our administration splurged on decent coffee and the teachers baked cookies and treats for the parents (we are lucky to be in a school that can afford such things!). Since implementing this model, we have noticed a significant reduction in parent anxiety and stronger partnership as the year progresses.

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Photo of Jessica Lura

Thanks for sharing your idea. I agree that transition points, such as moving to a new building, are particularly stressful, and it's awesome that your school is supporting the parents with these Parent Coffee Chats. Do you also offer something similar for the students?

Photo of Lauren Teather

Hi Jessica! Thanks for your comment and question. Most of the questions and concerns that our students have are addressed by the classroom teachers. We used to run a 6th grade "bootcamp" when we first became a 1 to 1 school, but now that the 1 to 1 program has rolled down to 4th grade, it's not necessary for that. We are a highly collaborative team and so usually the transitional issues are dealt with by the classroom teachers.

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