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How do I set up a teacher/principal/student/parent conference?


Dreihaus January 27, 2009

My child is having trouble in PE and it could potentially affect his GPA. He is otherwise quite academically talented,currently being involved in NJHS. Scholastics are important to him, but physically he is not capable of meeting L. Weiler's standards for receiving an "A" or "B".
I would like to know why the Presidential Fitness Test should/is a part of a student's ACADEMIC performance? He is not disrespectful and does his best. Everyone has talents and is different. My son is academically talented but not physically inclined. Is it fair to punish him for this if he is doing his best? It also apppears as if the other PE teachers at SDMS grade more on effort instead of ability.

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healthy11 January 28, 2009

It's normally best to "work from the bottom up" in terms of trying to resolve school problems. Have you already spoken with the teacher, and that's how you found out about the grading being based on the Presidential Fitness Test? Do you know what percent of your child's grade comes from that?
It's unlikely that individual teachers can decide to have different grading curves within a school, so perhaps all the schools within your district use the Presidential Fitness test in the same way. You definitely need to verify that. I'm not sure if there might be some "financial incentives" for the school for having a certain percentage of their students show up in a "healthy range."
In any case, where you say your son isn't physically capable of meeting L, I'm not sure what L is, but every child is capable of improving with practice. If your son can only do one push up at the start, and can only do three by the end of the evaluation period, it's still progress, even though the standard for his age might be six or eight. I wonder if you could approach the teacher to use a pass/fail grading so long as he's showing improvement, and then it wouldn't impact his GPA? (If there's an actual medical problem where your son can't, then he should have a doctor's waiver.)
In summary, to answer your question, once you have your facts and don't feel the individual teacher has addressed your concerns adequately, you can probably just send a note to the principal, indicating that you would like to schedule a meeting to discuss your child's P.E. situation. You can say that you've already contacted his teacher (on such-and-such dates) but you would like to discuss it in more detail with everyone together. You can list some times you're available and the principal should see to it that the teacher is invited.

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