A Message from the Division Head

by Ann Sulzer

The halls of the Middle School have been busy as the whirlwind of the first weeks of school starts to settle, and students are getting into the rhythm of school. For many parents, Middle School represents a major leap into independence for your student. At this point in the year, we often receive questions from parents about when they will hear from teachers about their students’ progress.

Your first scheduled opportunity to hear directly from teachers will be during your child’s conference at the end of October. During this 30-minute conference you will have an opportunity to sit down with all of your child’s teachers and hear about how your student is doing in each class. Though students do not attend this fall conference, their voices will be heard as advisors will share student reflections during the conference. Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions, but in order to hear from all teachers, this meeting is not designed as an extended dialogue with individual teachers. Instead, the goal is to hear a report out from each class. If further discussion seems like it would be helpful, that can be scheduled for a later date.

Before conferences, as we support your child in becoming accountable for his or her own progress, teachers will more likely go directly to the student with initial concerns. You can expect to hear directly from a teacher if your student is showing patterns that may require support. Teachers go by the “rule of three.” For example, if your student has struggled with three assignments, has missed three homework assignments, or has forgotten supplies three times, you can expect to be copied on an email to your student or contacted directly, so that we can work together to help your student get on track. Similarly, if your child’s advisor picks up on a pattern from multiple teachers, he or she will be in touch with you.

If you are interested in gaining general information about what your student is doing in class, please visit this link to monthly classroom updates on the OES Middle School site. These updates can be a great foundation for starting a conversation with your child about what is happening in the classroom.  

If you ever have questions about how your student is doing at school, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s advisor, an individual teacher, your grade level Team Leaders Laura Todis (6th), Dennis Chang (7th), and David Blackall (8th), or our counselors Cindy McEnroe and Lynea Gillen. We look forward to working with all of you this year.