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Later times OK'd for parent-teacher conferences
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MONROE - Spring parent-teacher conferences at Monroe High School have been changed to afternoon and evening hours to better accommodate working parents.

The Monroe school board approved changing conference times to 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 23. They initially were scheduled for 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 26.

There was concern that this year's parent-teacher conferences were scheduled at times that were difficult for parents to attend. The fall conferences were from 8 a.m. to noon.

School officials acknowledged last fall the times were awkward for parents, but said the district's hands were tied. In previous years, conferences at MHS were held at various times but generally started after school and continued to late afternoon or early evening.

The change was due to how the state counts instructional days. The district tried to get a waiver from the state Department of Public Instruction to hold conferences at night, but the DPI denied the district's request. Monroe did not find out the waiver was denied until after the school calendar had been settled with the teachers' union, and the district could not fit conferences in any other time within constraints of teacher contracts.

The Monroe teachers union came up with change "to be more accommodating to parents," Superintendent Larry Brown said. "It shows teachers care about the community.

"We appreciate the fact they were willing to make that change," he said.