December 17, 2003
Every school year, I ask that all D or F papers be signed by parents. I want my students' parents actively involved and knowing how their child is doing throughout each grading period. When a child returns a parent signed paper, I highlight the grade in my Gradebook. This lets me know at a quick glance that the parents are aware of this low grade. When the child returns a parent signed paper they earn 1 point toward their grade in that particular subject or 2 parent signatures earns them 2 points. At report card time, if a parent requests a conference and implies they were not aware their child was doing poorly, I can open up my Gradebook and let them know exactly how many low grades their child received that were not returned with a parent signature. This 'proof of purchase' helps to take the heat off the teacher and quickly lets the parent know they need to talk with their child about where the D or F papers are. This system works. I have had many parents tell me how glad they are to be kept abreast of their child's progress. If this happens, I ask them to write a letter stating that fact, and then I keep that letter in their child's file. Again, this letter gives me proof that it is the parent and not me who has passed the buck on this issue.