Next week will be brief for school kids

You may know it as MEA weekend.  It’s always held on the third Thursday and Friday of October, which this year means Oct. 18 and 19.

Education Minnesota, “the union of 70,000 educators,” now calls their annual event the Education Minnesota Professional Conference.

For secondary students it means a three-day week.  Elementary students have just two days of school, or one for kindergartners. There’s a book fair at every building. For parents it’s the first parent/teacher conference of the year.

Wondering what to do with young kids? School-aged childcare accommodates both regular participants and those who need a place to go just on non-school days, such as MEA break.

Next week SAC students will have a chance to attend the theater production of “Duck for President” at the Stages Theater, swim at Southwest Junior High, and participate in other fun activities with friends.

How many families attend parent/teacher conferences? Not all schools keep conference attendance figures, but here’s an idea:

Columbus Elementary boasts almost 100 percent turnout. If parents can’t make it on the scheduled night, teachers arrange to talk some other time.

Scandia and Linwood typically get about 95 percent participation. At Linwood, the highest numbers are for students in grades kindergarten through 3. Scandia encourages parents to use phone conferencing when they can’t come in for a face-to-face chat.

Southwest Junior High reports turn-out for fall and spring conferences ranging from 74 to 84 percent.

The high school does not keep exact records, but typically brings in about a third of the parents for parent-teacher conferences and about 95 percent for registration conferences.

Book fairs help schools earn money, whether for the parent/teacher organization for the library. Profits can be in cash, books, or a combination.