Springdale; Parent-teacher conferences take a virtual turn

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SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — For the Springdale school district whether your child is attending traditionally, virtually or taking the blended approach their parent-teacher conference will take place online.

One mom said she will miss walking through the halls and seeing where her sons sit in class but she understands these changes are in place to protect the school community.

Amanda Smith’s three boys all attend Walker Elementary in Springdale traditionally and her youngest is in his first year.

“That was probably the hardest part for me, him going to kindergarten and that last first kid, that first day of school and not being able to walk him into the building.”

Smith said it’s taking some getting used to, but not for 5-year-old Jacob.

“To him this is normal, this is school and he doesn’t know any different,” said Smith.

The district is getting ready for its first parent-teacher conference this fall. Kindergarten Teacher Rebecca Cloud said each student will go home with a packet on the day of the meeting with materials for the family.

“This is usually our opportunity for us to meet parents face to face and get to know them and their children and we will still be able to do that. It will just be through a screen.”

“Some families are able to zoom in or conference through Facebook — there’s a way to call through Facebook, we also have facetime that we can do with families and we can also do a traditional phone call if none of the other means work,” said Principal Lynn Ryan.

Smith said on the bright side, online meetings do allow for some flexibility.

“This one, we have been able to spread it out a little, which is positive because it gives us time and I don’t have to rush from one to another.”

“I feel that even with a screen some things get lost but I do think in some ways this will be more helpful if you have younger children at home, or other obligations with sports you can definitely step to the side and take a zoom call,” said Cloud.

Teachers will accommodate parents who are not able to meet online.

Parents received their time slots this week and Lynn said it’s very important for families to be on time for their meetings as teachers have several back-to-back appointments.

For Smith, she said although it will be different, she is looking forward to chatting with her son’s teachers next week.

Parent-teacher conferences start Monday.

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