Student-Led Conferences

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Welcome to the Oak Valley’s Student-Led Conferences information page! This page will provide you with information about, and the research behind the student-led conference model that is used at Oak Valley. As this model is in many ways unique, we have created this site to explain the research behind student-led conferences and to address many frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Student-Led Conferences

Why are we having Student-Led Conferences?

They are widely recognized as best educational practice! Research supports the fact that student achievement increases when students reflect on their work, identify strengths and weaknesses, and set goals, thus taking ownership of their learning. Student-Led Conferences promote self-confidence, as well as vital organizational, presentation, and communication skills. They also provide parents with an opportunity to celebrate their students as learners. Student-Led Conferences support district goals, strategic plan initiatives and state employability standards.

What is my role during the Student-Led Conference?

Encourage your student. Be specific in you praise, comments, and compliments. Listen to what your student is saying and ask follow up questions like What part of this assignment was challenging for you? Why? What did you learn from this assignment? How can I help you with your goal?

Respect your student’s ability to lead and share. Your student has spent a lot of time and effort getting ready to present their work to you. Allow them to guide you through the Student-Led Conference.

Be proud! Your student’s ability to take ownership of their progress and present their goals to you is impressive.

What is my child’s role during the Student-Led Conference?

Your student will be leading the conference. They will be presenting you with a collection of their work. As they show your specific assignments and assessments, they will be reflecting on their progress, and identifying strengths and weaknesses. Your student will share the goals that they have developed based on the reflection process.

What is the teacher’s role during the Student-Led Conference?

The teachers have spent the past month preparing your student and teaching the skills necessary for the conference. During the conference, the teacher will be circulating amongst the conferences, providing encouragement and affirmation to the students. While there may be several conferences going on simultaneously, the teacher may join your conference briefly to help facilitate the process with your student, or to provide additional information about your student’s progress. In order to meet the needs of all students, the teachers will not be able to meet with parents privately during Student-Led Conferences.

Can I meet with the teacher(s) privately at another time?

Yes. The teachers are always available throughout the school year for individual conferences if you have concerns that you wish to address. Call or e-mail your student’s teacher(s) at any time to set up an appointment. We also encourage student/parent access to the family access where grades and student progress can be monitored on a frequent basis.

Testimonies from OVMS Students and Parents

Oak Valley Parents and Students both agree that this conferencing model actively engages Students for better results…

“Student—led conferences allow my child to tell me what he thinks of his work and compare it to what the teacher thinks. He is accountable for his work and we still have the chance to speak with the teachers. Great idea!”

OVMS Parent

“Student—led conferences helped me see what I need to follow through with my goals that I set for myself.”

OVMS Student

“I love this format. It puts accountability on the Student and reinforces success and developmental opportunities. The teachers are available to talk and we didn’t feel rushed as in the case of the traditional conference format.”

OVMS Parent

“I need to talk with my Parents about my grades more often because I found out that if I jest tell them flat out how I’m doing, I won’t be in hardly any trouble.”

OVMS Student

“Student—led conferences helped me stay focused on school more. I improved my test and quiz scores, and to put more effort into my schoolwork.”

OMVS Student

“Rather than talking about my child, I was able to talk to her.”

OVMS Parent

“This really pulls all of us together and gives a great opportunity for good communication. Thank you for all that you do!”

OVMS Parent

“Student—led conferences encouraged Students to come out of their shells and take a lead role. They prepare Students for being able to speak in front of others.”

OVMS Parent

For more information on Student-led conferences please visit these websites:

Student-Led Conferences Hold Kids Accountable

Student-Led Conferences Successful in Elementary, Middle Grades