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The idea sprung from necessity. Parent attendance at the spring conferences was dismal, so the staff at Yoncalla Middle School brainstormed a creative way to engage both students and parents. The result: student-led conferences that brought in almost 100% of 7th and 8th grade parents.
The goal of the conference was to help students and parents transition smoothly to high school, college and career and the requisite rigor and readiness. The students' reviewed their 6-year personal education plan and report card with their parents, which included a discussion on future class selection and requirements for high school graduation and college admission as well as career aspirations and what it takes to get there.
"I believe strongly in our spring conferences," said Carrie Davis, GEAR UP coordinator and the Businness/Careers/Health teacher at Yoncalla High School in her "spare" time. "The student-led parent conferences will become a yearly event."
Looking for resources to create your own student-led conference? Check out the power point from the National Association of Secondary Schools Principals on Implementing Student-Led Conferences in Your School by Patti Kinney, and resources compiled by Education World.