Student-Led Conferences (SLCs)

Written by Seth Pozzi, Head of School on .

As part of the Leader in Me program, our Elementary Division launched Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) this year. This Leader in Me program is designed to help children develop leadership skills and competencies, as well as foster initiative, critical thinking, and communication skills. While the exact format of the SLC varied slightly by grade level, the key ingredient was our students’ Leadership Notebooks.

Leadership Notebooks
Every student in the school has his/her own Leadership Notebook which is designed to capture and represent information about each student’s individual learning profile (a hallmark of the WHPS program). The Leadership Notebook has a section to identify and explain personal and academic strengths and a section for a variety of assessment data. Assessment data include the student’s reading level, developmental spelling level, published writing samples, graphs and charts showing progress over time, and other artifacts that reflect growth.

Parent Survey Results
We are proud of the work our students and teachers have done this year to begin to develop a long term portfolio and learning profile for each student. We also take your feedback seriously and wanted to know how parents felt after the second round of conferences in this new format, so we surveyed parents after the second round of SLCs. Of the parents who responded to our survey, 95% said they appreciated the SLC process over the traditional parent-teacher conference format.

Parents said:
 It involved and empowered students, holding them accountable and helping to build self-confidence.
 They were well planned. I loved hearing about my child’s goals and achievements.
 I really like that the students are having a say in their own goals. This is a necessary life skill for the children to develop.

We also received some great constructive feedback, which we take to heart. 12% of respondents said that they would still like a separate opportunity to meet with their child’s teachers. Parents are welcome to request conferences at any time throughout the school year. We will also create a more defined time to meet with any families who wish to have a formal sit-down prior to SLCs in the fall. In addition, we hope you won’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to have a more formal meeting with the teachers at any time during this final trimester of the 2016-2017 school year. And of course, if you didn’t fill out the SLC survey, I welcome any other feedback you might have about our Leader in Me program.

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