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Nottingham Students Take the Lead with Student-Led Conferences

This is a photo of a school library with families gathered around tables for student-led conferences.For the second year in a row, Nottingham students took the lead – serving as moderators of what have traditionally been called parent-teacher conferences.
Families were presented with a two-hour window, during which they could stop by the school to engage with their child, and the child’s teacher, about progress and challenges so far in the school year.
“We believe student-led conferences are beneficial because they really help connect families and students to what is happening in the classroom,” Social Studies teacher Liz Morse said. “There is something special about your child purposefully sharing their work, reflections, and goals. This leads to a better informed support system at home and school. It also shows students and parents that we are all in this together! We are able to have honest conversations with students and parents around work and effort, and identify ways we can all best support our students.”
Another benefit of student-led conferences: students are able to present to their families in their native language, helping to alleviate potential communication barriers between school and home. Families say they enjoy the ability to hear their child become engaged in what they have been learning in class.
“My husband and I enjoyed the student-led conferences because it gave [our daughter] Maya a chance to show us the work that made her feel proud,” parent Jessica Montena explained. “It helped her to take responsibility for her work because she knew she'd be sharing it with us. Any tool that helps strengthen the connection between home and school benefits students, parents, and teachers - and ultimately, our community, too. I hope more schools in our district will use student-led conferences to improve engagement and give all students the opportunity to get positive, constructive feedback from important adults in their lives.”
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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