Observation Protocol 

Your parent/guardian request for a classroom observation is welcomed. WDE will make reasonable efforts to accommodate parent/guardian requests to visit a school, yet we also recognize concerns for the welfare of our students. Part of that concern is to assure that students and staff are not distracted from the task of learning by the presence of visitors on campus. Therefore, we ask that the following educational protocol be respected.

We, Willow Drive Elementary, require that observation requests be made at least 24 hours in advance to allow for proper arrangements to be made. The observation request must include the identity and contact information of all intended observers. No more than 2 parent/guardians can attend as part of a single observation group. 

The following procedures will be followed to protect student learning during the observation: 

1) Who May Visit: In order to ensure the safety and confidentiality of students, the right to observe a child will be limited to a current student’s parent and/or legal guardians(children are not allowed, please make appropriate accommodations). The principal or designee may, at his/her discretion, grant permission for visits. Individuals invited by the District for official business, must also receive authorization from the Principal in order to observe a student. 

2) Who May Be Observed: The sole purpose of a classroom visit by a parent is to observe their student and the instructional program being presented within the allotted time frame. At no time should a parent’s motive for or focus of a classroom visit be to observe another student in the classroom. If the Principal has knowledge that the focus of a parent’s visit is to observe another student, he/she reserves the right to deny a requested visit or to end a visit that is in progress. 

3) Check-In: Parents/guardians must check in the main office and obtain a visitors badge from the office staff prior to the observation period.  Unauthorized visits/observations are not permitted at Willow Drive Elementary. The presence or visitation of unauthorized persons in about the school system facilities or properties may constitute trespassing and may subject violators to criminal prosecution under the laws of the State of South Carolina. 

4) Conduct During Classroom Visitation: Parents visiting classrooms should arrange their schedules to enter and exit the classroom in a manner that would not interrupt the instructional activities in progress. Parents are expected to enter the class just prior to the beginning of the instructional period. Entering the class during the middle of the class can easily cause a disruption. While visiting the class, the teacher will designate an area for parents to sit. (Parents are asked to NOT sit with their student as this could create an unnecessary disruption for others.) Once in the classroom and seated, parents are asked to remain seated and refrain from interacting with the students or the teacher. Unnecessary noise and/or movement must be kept to a minimum. If you are observing the class period that happens to be their lunch time, and wish to have lunch with them, please meet them at the doors of the cafeteria and then set at a designated table with them. 

5) Parent Questions/Comments: Parents wishing to discuss their student’s behavior after the observation should schedule a conference with the teacher.  Teachers are not required to answer parent questions during class, transitions or during their planning time the day of the observation. Parents who fail to observe the stated guidelines during their visit may be asked to leave if their presence or conduct interferes with the orderly operation of the classroom. 

6) No Audio or Video Taping of Classroom: Video and/or audio recording of classroom visits by the parent or guardian is prohibited. Electronic devices which could be used to video or audio record should not be visible during the visit. 

7) School Administration: The Principal or his/her designee may also be in the room during the parent observation in order to protect the learning environment of all students. 

8) Sign-Out: When your observation is finished, please sign-out in the front office and leave your name badge, your signed observation card and the parent contact information for the administrative team.