Student led conferences notebook cover

For students at Sunset Ridge Intermediate and View Ridge Middle schools in the Ridgefield School District, parent-teacher conferences have become led by students. At these revamped conferences, students create presentations to show their families what they have learned since the beginning of the year. They then present the information to their families, with teachers available to assist and answer questions. This year’s conferences were a success at both schools, with high rates of participation.

 “The kids were able to articulately speak about what was going on in class,” said View Ridge Middle School Principal Tony Smith. “They were pretty reflective of what they have learned so far, and it was great seeing them share with their families.”

Sunset Ridge Intermediate School principal Todd Graves was similarly pleased with this year’s participation and proud of the students’ presentations. “Our teachers are very proactive about reaching out, but we also want parents to feel free to get in touch if they ever have any questions or concerns,” Graves said. “I want parents to know that they can contact their student’s teacher any time during the school year for a progress report or update.”

Student-led conferences are a format that both schools selected to give students more agency and participation in their reviews of the year-to-date. Teachers provide students with a framework to demonstrate what was expected and what was learned in each class. 

Then students are given class time to work on their presentations, and to offer their own responses to each class and the material that was covered. The presentations are a great way to measure each student’s progress and also for the students to gain valuable presentation skills. 

In the past, conferences were scheduled at school, with hundreds of families coming and going during the course of the conference times. But with COVID restrictions, conferences were offered this year via Zoom as well. This allowed for more families to participate. In person conferences at the schools were another option if families wished to attend.

Congratulations to Sunset Ridge and View Ridge students on their successful student-led conferences, and many thanks to the families that participated!