Skip to main content

The Importance of Conferences

March 31, 2021

By Tim Kelly Communications Office

(Tim Kelly, Communications Office)

While incarcerated at the Mission Creek Corrections Center in 2019, Nichole Alexander used the Parent-Teacher Teleconference resources, provided by the Washington State Department of Corrections. Post-release, in calendar year 2020, Nichole, her daughter Brooklyn, and Brooklyn’s former teacher, Cathy Rieter, got together in person to talk about the importance of parent-teacher teleconferences and incarcerated persons staying connected with their children’s education. Both mother and daughter valued the family support.

“It felt nice to have her participate in it because it’s not just my aunt doing all of this – I know that my mom’s knowing all this information,“ said Brooklyn.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department was able to facilitate 65 parent-teacher conferences during the 2018-19 school year. Incarcerated individuals at each correctional facility are encouraged to participate. Attorney and State Representative Tarra Simmons participated in these conferences with her son’s teachers when she was incarcerated and is a proponent.

“I’m really grateful that the Department of Corrections is willing to hopefully expand this to do more outreach, to let educators and incarcerated parents know that this is available and hopefully we can increase the amount of parents that are utilizing this,” said Simmons.