Communicating with Teachers and Administrators
PDS teachers and staff members are expected at all times to communicate with parents in a professional manner. Parents are asked to reciprocate by treating teachers and staff with courtesy at all times. In order to establish direct lines of communication, we request that parents wishing to contact teachers or administrators follow this process.
- All initial questions about class routine, grading, homework, pedagogy, or incidents within the classroom should be directed to the classroom teacher.
- In EC if further assistance is necessary, then communication should be directed to Head of Early Childhood, Rachel Bishop.
- In grades 1–6 if further assistance is necessary regarding a specific concern about a boy, communication with the Elementary Principal, Mark Fruitt, is the next appropriate step.
- In grades 1–6 if further assistance is necessary regarding a specific academic concern, communication with the Head of Elementary, Laura Glenn, is the next appropriate step.
- Questions concerning physical education or the after-school athletic program should be directed to Dennis Smith, Athletic Director.
- Questions concerning AfterCare should be directed to Madison Spain.
- Questions concerning Enrichment classes should be directed to Madison Spain.
- Questions concerning Summer Camps should be directed to Anne-Davis Parks.
The Head of School is always available for consultation, but before stepping into a conversation, he will want to be assured that the above process has been observed. By following the above routine, many minor problems may be solved before they become major ones.
Parents should check the school’s website (http://pdsmemphis.org) for current news and information. All teachers, administrators, and staff have email addresses that follow the format of first letter of first name, followed by full last name, followed by @pdsmemphis.org. Parents are encouraged to use, on a limited basis, email to communicate with the school.
Meetings with teachers must be scheduled in advance. Please do not show up unannounced to meet with a teacher, including at the end of the school day.
Parents should maintain appropriate professional boundaries with PDS faculty/staff and recognize and respect that PDS employees have personal lives and family responsibilities beyond their roles at PDS.
For PDS teachers and staff to be at their best for the boys of PDS, they need personal time, space and balance in their lives, especially during the evenings, weekends and during school holidays.
Thank you for your understanding.
Parents are asked to use email with considered restraint, as we want our faculty/staff to spend the overwhelming majority of their time teaching and planning rather than reading and replying to emails.
Parents are reminded that teachers have, depending on the grade level, approximately 36–144 parents of their students, and just a few emails from each parent can amount to a large and time-consuming amount of teacher time.
Parents should not expect that faculty/staff would read or respond to emails during the evening, on weekends or holidays, or during the school day (time sensitive information, i.e. carpool change that day, should be sent to the school receptionist to pass along to the teacher). Parents should, though, expect an email response in 24–36 hours.
In addition to being thoughtful about the volume of email sent between parents and teachers, we should be careful in when it is appropriate to use this vehicle of communication, as it often leads to a misunderstanding of the attitude, spirit and intent in which it may have been sent. For important, difficult or emotional matters, PDS strongly encourages a phone call or meeting rather than an email.
Emails sent to a teacher during the day may not be seen and read until after the school day is over, as their first priority is to teaching boys and planning instruction. Keep this in mind if trying to send a time sensitive message. Calling the school receptionist may be more effective for a time sensitive message to be delivered to your son.
Teachers, like most people in our society, can be inundated with email. Therefore, please limit the frequency of email to them and respect the fact that they have many other boys and families for whom they are responsible. Know that it may be 1–2 days before they are able to respond. Know that email is often not the best communication tool, especially for important or emotional issues.
The school administration reserves the right to intervene with a parent who does not understand or respect the proper use of email within the PDS community.