Parent Contact - D. Reflection

8. Parent Contact

How did the parents/guardians/family change as a result of the lesson? 

  • The main change as a result of this intervention was simply exposure to 21st Century Scholar information and getting students registered. In a normal year this would have been just a small part of a much larger event. In the past we have paired this event as part of Freshman orientation towards the end of the 8th grade year. This allows for parents to complete the registration while also learning about student’s diploma types, schedules, NCAA eligibility, and more. Usually parent are able to get lots of information and have all their questions answered, in this case we were just able to address one topic. I know we were able to reach some parents because we had 23 parents fill out applications on behalf of their students. 
  • We did have a few choose to come in and meet with our counseling department one on one so that we could help them through the registration process. While the process is not difficult, it is a bit time consuming so I understand their hesitation to complete it on their own. 

What worked? 

  • Given the circumstances this event served its purpose. It was meant to reach the parents of all 8th graders and to provide them basic information about how to register for the 21st century scholar scholarship. After this event we were able to get 23 of our 8th graders registered for 21st Century. I would consider this a successful event, especially since we were unable to gather in person. 
  • Hosting events on Zoom/Google Meet is never ideal but it was able to allow for everyone to join in one place and get the information all at once instead of individual meetings with our counseling department. The other nice benefit is that we were able to record our event and send it to the remaining students/parents who were unable to attend our event.  
  • Lastly inviting a representative from ScholarTrack in to lead the meeting was really useful. She was incredibly well versed in everything 21st Century has to offer and was able to share her expertise with our students and parents. She was also able to be there for questions that I was unable to answer.

What would you do differently next time? 

  • Ideally this is an event that needs to be held in person. This will allow for parents to ask questions and not be inhibited by technological restraints. It can also be timed with other events like Freshman Orientation or College Go Week so that there is a greater chance for parents and students to attend. That was probably the biggest drawback to meeting digitally is we really didn’t get to interact with the parents and once we explained how to register for ScholarTrack and answer some basic questions the meeting was over. 

How has this activity impacted you?

  • This activity allowed me to see that for a parent night to be really successful you need to have a variety of things going on. I think our meeting went well and was important to have, I just felt like we weren’t reaching all of the students and parents that we could have. Linking this with some other things like scheduling, meet the teacher night, FAFSA events we could have knocked several things out with one night and we would have had greater participation. 
  • Personally this was not the first time that I’ve held parent meetings, so I knew roughly what to expect from my audience. This was my first time hosting a mass session with parents online, so it was interesting to be in charge of a live event like that. Overall this was a pretty minor event, but something to definitely take and expand next year

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