I.J. Holton making turn to student-led conferencing

By Angi McAndrews

I.J. Holton Intermediate School Principal

This February, I.J. Holton Intermediate School’s spring conferences will look a little different. Instead of the traditional parent-teacher conference model, where the conversation focuses on performance with little input from the student, we will be running student-led conferences, which will help to amplify the student voice, enhance family communication, and empower students to both take ownership of their progress and pave the way for greater learning.

Angi McAndrews

We believe student involvement in discussions about academic progress is critical to their success. Often, as students transition from the elementary to middle grades, conversations about learning lighten and “how was your day” discussions tend to center on social, rather than academic, aspects of the school day.

In addition, fewer school papers come home, and parents are less involved in homework as students become more independent. It’s an easy time to let school-connectedness slip through the cracks, but even though young adolescents seek independence, they still need guidance. It is our hope that this model of conferencing will set the stage for greater dialogue about learning in the home.

We believe students should be empowered to talk deeply about their learning. It’s no secret that many parent-teacher conferences consist of “getting” information, but if parents attend conferences to talk about their child’s learning, who better to speak to that than the learners themselves? Through this model, parents will get a glimpse into their child’s life as a student by showcasing who they are as a learner, sharing what they are learning about, and articulating why the learning is important to them.

We believe students should take ownership for their performance as a learner.

By having students tell the story of their learning, we are supporting ownership of successes and hurdles in a more vulnerable way. Students will share current academic progress, but more importantly, reflect on their learning with parents. Have I tried my best? What made this learning difficult? What support can my family provide to help ensure my continued learning? What helped me succeed? How will I continue to grow as a learner?

To prepare for student-led conferences, students and teachers are investing time in collecting evidence of learning, reviewing standardized test scores and interpreting results, formally reflecting on learning, setting goals for the future, and practicing the conversation in advance of the big day! By putting students in the driver’s seat, we believe parents will walk away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for their child’s efforts as young adolescent learners.

Mower County

APS board approves sanctioning boys volleyball

Education

Austin Seniors receive Horatio Alger Scholarships

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Man sentenced to over eight years for criminal sexual conduct with a child

Grand Meadow

2 injured in Saturday afternoon crash

Mower County

Courtney’s bench: Family and friends honor loved one lost in hope to raise awareness for mental illness

Mower County

Summerset Theatre opens Season 56 with the musical ‘Annie’

Adams

Adams Dairy Days celebrating 50th

Mower County

Gabby Weiss passes away, legacy will continue on the baseball diamond

Mower County

New sculpture is giving visitors another destination stop in Austin

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions: May 27-June 3

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge

Mower County

In Your Community: Mower County Senior Center

Education

Education Briefs

Education

Pacelli Honor Roll

News

US hiring and wage growth picked up last month in sign of sustained economic health

News

Many Americans are still shying away from EVs despite Biden’s push, an AP-NORC/EPIC poll finds

News

After 41 years, Pat Sajak makes his final spin as host of ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Mower County

Several file for local offices

Agriculture

Minnesota ID‘s first case of avian influenza in a dairy herd

News

D-Day anniversary haunted by dwindling number of veterans and shadowed by Europe’s new war

Mower County

Shawn Tweten steps up to challenge Finstad in primary

News

Well, hello!: ‘Hello, Dolly!’ opens CST’s seventh year

News

Appeals court halts Trump’s Georgia case during appeal of order allowing Willis to stay on case

Mower County

Institute scientist Hilakivi-Clarke receives grant to study possible benefits of organic, pasture-raised beef