A Student-Led Conference is a meeting with a student and his or her family and teachers during which the student shares his or her portfolio of work and discusses progress with family members. The student leads the meeting from start to finish. Student-Led Conferences can be implemented at all grades, K-12.

Why have Student-Led Conferences?

  • Builds Student Engagement
  • Builds Responsibility, Organization, and Decision Making
  • Creates a Culture of Evidence
  • Builds Strong Home-School Partnerships

Getting Started

1. Develop a Structure:

Student-Led Conferences will take place at Oxford High School on September 28th. This is the schedule for that day:

Student-Led Conference Class Schedule:

September 28th Schedule:

1st pd–7:25-8:20

2nd pd–8:25-9:00

3rd pd–9:05-9:40

4th pd–9:45-10:20

5th pd–10:25-11:55

LUNCH:

Block 1–10:25-10:55

Block 2–11:00-11:25

Block 3–11:30-11:55

NOTE = Block 3 Lunch will have to bring their books, etc. to lunch with them because they will be dismissing from lunch to car/bus.

Sixth and seventh periods will not meet, but teachers can load an assignment on Blackboard for students to complete this day.

2. Communicate with Families:

We will report to homerooms on Monday, September 18 to begin communicating with families about Student-Led Conferences. We will be following a morning activity schedule.

Monday, September 18 Schedule:

1st–7:25-8:20

2nd–8:25-9:05

Homeroom–9:10-9:40

3rd–9:45-10:30

4th–10:35-11:20

Then resume regular schedule.

During Homeroom:

Your Student-Led Conference Packet will include:

  • Homeroom Roster with student names and phone numbers
  • Student-Led Conference Letter (provided by District)
  • Call Log
  • Appointment Log

At the end of 2nd Period, we will announce for students to go to their homerooms.

During this time, you will need to

  • Give each student a letter
  • Verify their phone number
  • Begin making phone calls

Sample call script: (This script can guide you in your conversation with parents.)

It is important to be positive and encourage parents to participate in this event.

Hello Mr./Mrs. ______________, how are you doing? This is Mr./Mrs. __________________ from Oxford High School. This year’s school calendar has three dates set aside for you and your child to come to Oxford High School to participate in our STUDENT LED conferences.  The first date is September 28th. On September 28th, all Oxford City Schools will dismiss early for these conferences. I would like to schedule a time for you to come in for your student-led conference. The conference will last approximately 30 minutes. September 28th is set aside for Student-Led conferences, which provides an opportunity for your child to take the lead role in communicating their learning.

3. Define Roles:

  • The Student

Students will lead the Conference and present their learning to their parents. We want our students to understand they have control of their education. Think about the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat. When it comes to the student’s education, we want them to be a thermostat. A thermostat sets the temperature. It does not check the temperature. We want students to understand the importance of setting goals, breaking them down into smaller chunks, and finding solutions for the times that they get stuck along the way. We want students to be leaders of their own learning.

  • The Teacher

Our teachers will create clear expectations and guidelines for Student-Led Conferences and will help students understand and practice their role. Our teachers will help each student create a Google Slide Deck presentation that contains their career/postsecondary educational goals, their understanding of the importance of having a growth mindset, course slides that contain yearly goals, unit goal(s), Unit 1 Learning Targets and Artifacts/Evidence, Unit 2 Learning Targets and Artifacts/Evidence, and what they are doing to achieve their goals. There is no need to list all learning targets for your unit(s). Only list the ones that correspond with the evidence or artifact provided which shows trajectory of mastering the unit goal. Examples of evidence may be a picture of a submission in a lab notebook, a video of collaborative discussion, a writing sample, etc.The final slide will be the students explanation of how they belong to the Oxford High School community.

  • Family Members

Family members will attend the conference and pay close attention to the student’s presentation. The success of the Student-Led Conferences depends on all involved to understand and commit to his or her role. That is the purpose of this event, school leaders, parents, and teachers working together to provide an environment where students can present their learning.

  • School Leadership

As the principal of Oxford High School, my role concerning Student-Led Conferences is to provide clear communication and logistical assistance. Our administration staff and I have developed a structure for Student-Led Conferences to allow this to be a success. It is imperative that I emphasize the importance of Student-Led Conferences.

4. Prepare the Student:

SLIDE SHOW CHECKLIST

  • Title Slide (English Class)
  • Name and Grade (English Class)
  • Growth Mindset (English Class)
  • Career and Post-Secondary Goals (English)
  • Course Slides
  • Belong (Social Studies)

-This Slide Show will be housed in the student’s Google Site (eventually).

-ELA teachers will help the student create the presentation framework. Students may use their PowerPoint from last year or start from scratch. The framework will be created in their English class, and all other teachers will help their students create the slides for their class.

-The ELA teacher will give a grade for the presentation and check completion.This lines up with many of our ELA Power Standards.

-Another emphasis from our ELA teachers will be communicating the information on their slides. This lines up with our Speaking and Listening Power Standard. We want the students to be confident in presenting the material, which they have included on their slides. Have them practice it for you.

Timeline:

9/6: SLC Introduction

9/13: SLC Guidelines

9/18: Meet in Homerooms to verify contacts

9/13-9/19: Create framework in ELA classes

9/20-9/25: Create course slides

9/26-9/27: Present to ELA teacher

9/28: SLC Event

We want to have Student-Led Conferences that

  • Are tied to Standards and Learning Targets
  • Have meaningful student work
  • Balance of Overview/In-depth evidence
  • Allow students to show how the work reflects learning
  • Well-prepared students

We would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts concerning Student-led Conferences?

 

Resource

Berger, R. (2014). Leaders of their Own Learning. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.