I look after one of your students at home...

Don't see your question below? Send me an email - I love to hear from parents, believe it or not. Let me know what's on your mind!

I want to help them succeed. What can I do?

Lots. Even when you don't feel confident with the work yourself, you can help your child with the work. I have written you a note on this topic that I provide at the Open House which you can read here.

One of the simplest things you can do is ask them what we did in class. I know you've been getting one word answers to this question for years and it's tiring to keep hammering at that stone (I'm doing the same), but even if they dodge your question, they are getting the message that it matters.

I'm curious what you all are doing in class...

Again, I know its awkward and induces eye-rolls, but ask to see their work. I'm working hard in class to instill a sense of ownership over work. This means they might actually have some material they are proud to show you. 

I also distribute many materials through Google Classroom and there you will also find a (mostly) complete log of what we are doing in class. There is parent/caretaker access that your student can arrange. Contact me directly if you need help getting access.

I want to know how they are doing. How can I keep up with my students' grades?

Grades are maintained on the school's student database program, Aspen. If you do not have access please contact the main office and they can help acquire and manage login credentials for your family portal to the database.

As mentioned at Open House and as explained to the students and elsewhere on this site, I grade using a Standards-Based system. I will be coaching students hwo to keep track of achievement aligned with specific learning targets on the Student Learning Worksheet I provide. I invite you to periodically ask your student to see the worksheet and see where they are currently doing well and where they need to focus.

But grades - while essential in American education - are not my primary concern when it comes to monitoring progress and learning. I use a Standards Based Grading system where rubric scores are linked to specific learning objectives, or Standards. You can see the standards and related grading rubrics for any course from the course page. To really get a sense for what your child is learning and how well, ask them about these standards. Ask them where they think they are on the rubric. Ask them if they know what standard a particular assessment is addressing, or what essential question or skill a particular assignment is getting at. Often, just posing the question can both reveal a great deal and spur further understanding upon reflection.

I'm concerned about something. How do I reach you to discuss?

Yes! I would love to discuss your child's work, who they are, and how they can learn even more. I do have a rich experience with your child in the classroom, but that is at most a couple of hours in a day, and only recently in their lives. I could use all the background I can get and your observations from home are essential for my work in the classroom.

Best is to send me an email. I'll write back almost always within a day. If you want to have a conversation - by phone or face-to-face - let's arrange a time first. Leave a voicemail on my class extension or send me an email. 

email: dboyd@northampton-k12.us

class phone: 413.587.1344 ext:3211