• Student-Led Conferences - Frequently Asked Questions

    What are Student-Led Conferences (SLCs)?
    A student-led conference is a meeting with a student and their family and teachers, during which the student shares a portfolio of work and discusses progress with family members. The student facilitates the meeting from start to finish. Beginning with the 2022-23 school year, all students K-8 will lead a conference.

    Why is MCAS moving to SLCs? 
    SLCs make the age-old practice of parent-teacher conferences more engaging and informative for parents. They give students an opportunity to explain their own progress as learners. Research has shown that SLCs can transform school culture, improve family collaboration, and boost students’ ownership of their work. 

    When will conferences be held? 
    Elementary: October 12, 3:15 - 7:15
    Secondary: October 13, 2:30 - 6:30.
    Important note: Schedules may vary! Each school will be communicating with parents about the specific start time and format of the conferences at their buildings.

    What if I can’t make it on conference day?
    Contact your child’s school or teacher, and they will arrange an alternate time for you to come to the school for the conference. While our goal is to have every conference take place during the specified times, we understand that some parents may have scheduling conflicts. 

    What is the specific format of the conference?
    During SLCs, students will present portfolios of their work. At some schools, students and families may rotate among various stations for presentations about projects or to view displays and interact with teachers. You can view videos that show examples of SLCs here.

    What subjects with the conference cover?
    Student presentations will address learning in all academic areas, including the arts and physical education. Students will also discuss their goals and progress in various areas of character development. 

    How can I support my child during the SLC?
    Please support your child’s growth by asking questions that make students think about their work, such as “What are you most proud of about this piece?” or “How did your work change from the first draft to the final draft”? Criticism will lead a student to be less likely to share information about their successes and challenges.  

    Will my child’s teachers be involved in the conference?
    Yes. All K-8 teachers will be present on conference night. Teachers will guide students in preparing for the conferences and a teacher (either the classroom teacher or the student’s teacher Crew leader) will be present for each student’s conference. If a Crew leader is facilitating your child’s conference, they will take notes and relay them to other subject-area teachers.

    Will every child have a conference?
    Yes! 100% of our K-8 students will lead a conference.

    What if I need to talk to my child’s teacher privately about something? 
    Parents are always welcome to schedule a separate meeting with a teacher.

    Will there be SLCs for high school students?
    At this time, we are rolling out SLCs for grades K-8 only. We will consider expanding this concept to grades 9-12 in the future.

    What if I have a question that’s not answered here?
    Contact your child’s school or teacher with any additional questions you may have.