In The Schools

Montclair Public Schools Trains Parents on Successful Teacher Conference Practices


MONTCLAIR, NJ - On Tues., Nov. 18, the Montclair Public Schools (MPS) presented “Navigating Parent-Teacher Conferences,” a workshop providing valuable insight and strategies to empower families to learn what they can do at home to support the work going on in the classroom thereby helping their children succeed academically.

The program was sponsored by the MPS Talent Development Office and was facilitated by Chief Talent Officer Michelle Russell, District Parent Coordinator Sylvia Bryant and Supervisor of Professional Development Natalee Bartlett.

Topics included how to connect to the teacher, addressing challenges and concerns, and ways to ask key questions about a child’s classroom behavior and academic performance.

Sign Up for E-News

Attendees participated in role playing parent-teacher conference scenarios and shared ideas of what worked and what didn’t work.

“Parents had an excellent opportunity during the workshop to enact an array of topics and discuss how teachers could and should respond to important questions like ‘Does my child need help with any of his/her academics? If he does, how can I, as a parent, help my child at home?’” said Bryant. “That was certainly a powerful – and empowering – experience for our parents,  who could leave the workshop feeling prepared with important techniques and resources.”

PTA Council President Diane Anglin attended the event and said the experience was positive. “The workshop is exactly what our families need to become a part of their child’s educational experience. Teaching families helps our students and our community.”

Parent Carlos Salem-Galindo said he came away with an important tip. “The workshop was very insightful in terms of strategies that parent can use for parent teacher meetings, in particular bringing your child to the conference to empower them and or create accountability,” he said. “Also, asking the teacher to describe your child.  Empowering families will create a way for parents to know that they are much more responsible for their child’s education.”

Another parent, Barry Devone added that he found the break-out sessions to be particularly helpful.  “They really provided an excellent opportunity for parents to share their experiences about parent-teacher conferences.  The district is moving in the right direction in regards to improving parent-teacher relations.”

Brother-to Brother Director Joe Davis concurred.  “I found the workshop to be very informative and timely,” he said. “As a Montclair community partner, we support your efforts and are strong advocates of forming bridges between teachers and parents. We will continue to work together for the betterment of our school system.”

More than 30 parents attended the workshop which took place at the Pine Street Community Center.  “This was our first time using this venue,” said Bryant. “Wherever we can get the message out into the community is important to us.”

James Harris, Education Chair of the NAACP, agreed that expanding the offerings and locales is a positive step toward “encouraging parent involvement and community engagement.”

For more tips on Navigating Parent-Teacher Conferences, see the following:

Tips from the Experts: Navigating the Parent-Teacher Conferences

Printable version of the 20 Questions for Family Conferences

Workshop PowerPoint Presentation

For a list of upcoming family and community engagement workshops, click here.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


In Photos: Local Parks Flood During Monday Morning Rainstorms

April 17, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - This morning's downpours sent torrents of water into the Third River causing it to over flow its banks.

Passaic Avenue at Brookside was closed by the Nutley Police Department shortly after TAPinto Nutley arrived to capture these images of the flooding. 

Runoff inundated Memorial Park, caused the Third River to spill over its banks in Yanticaw Park, ...

After Comparing Democrats to Nazis, Leaders Call for Resignation of Montville Committeewoman

April 12, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Committee voted to censure Committee Member June Witty for a personal Facebook post she made on April 8 which compared Democrats to Nazis. All four members of the five-person committee asked for her resignation.

The post, a chart which states that Nazis believed in “media mind control,” “no guns,” abortion, and ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, April 23, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Mon, April 23, 7:00 PM

First Congregational Church, Guild Room, Montclair

A Healthier New Jersey: The Murphy Administration ...

Government Health & Wellness

Tue, April 24, 6:00 PM

The Venetian , Garfield

Prepared. For Life Dinner with Captain Mark Kelly


Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 14, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Register Now for the Verona Music Parent Association 3rd Annual Spring Golf Outing

April 22, 2018

VERONA, NJ - Calling All Golfers -- the Verona Music Parents Association is hosting its 3rd Annual Spring Golf Outing on May 9. at the Black Bear Golf Club in Franklin, NJ.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. with a 9 a.m. shot gun start.  Barbecue lunch will be provided.  To register visit

All money raised will benefit the Verona High School Music Department.