What happened to Back to School Nights?

We've been having a lot of requests for time off for teachers' conferences that occur now only during the day. Seems they don't have Back to School nights anymore--result of school systems trying to save money on having facilities open at night, custodian hours, etc. We are letting the nonexempts make up the time, but it's a lot of extra paperwork for HR and the managers.

Anyone else having this problem?


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  • As the parent of a young child in the public school system, I can tell you that Back to School Night is NOT what it used to be. At least at the school my child attends, Back to School Night consists of  a highly choreographed speech by each teacher explaining their expectations for the school year, a call for volunteers and then off you go to the next  teacher. We have even had teachers say specifically the Back to School Night is not a time to discuss individual students' issues -- that parents need to schedule meetings at some other time to discuss their own child with the teacher. Good luck trying to get a time to meet with your teacher then! Don't get me wrong, I have much sympathy for teachers with 25 students per class. But, nighttime meetings are out of the question. Most meetings are scheduled in the morning before school starts or immediately after school ends -- both during work hours for most employees. So, please, have a little patience and remember that a number of states legally REQUIRE employers to grant time off for school-related conferences. 
  • We've had employees complain that all teacher conference slots are in the afternoon and children are given half-day off 2 days in row, causing inconvenience for working parents in both childcare issues and taking time off, especially if they live far from the workplace.
  • Not to derail the thread, but I have a different but related problem.  My problem is that American employers still seem to think that their employees' childrens' health and education requirements are a problem.
  • I am a mother, so I don't think addressing the health and education requirements of children is a workplace problem.

    However, school systems are not taking working parents into consideration by scheduling conferences when most employed parents are at work and must find alternate childcare (kids are usually given half-day off) and take time off in order to attend. 

    I have heard from a friend who is a teacher that when conferences were held at night, usually both parents attended.  But now that they are during the day, more often only one parent attends.

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