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Elementary School Allowing Students to Participate in Parent Teacher Conferences

URBANDALE, Iowa – One metro school allows students to participate during parent teacher conferences.

At Valerius Elementary teachers use the conferences as a tool to focus on individual student’s progress he or she tracks each week.

Fourth Grade Teacher at Valerius Elementary Megan Scherber said the students have a data binder that keeps track of their progress in different subjects like math and English.

“When students are leading their conferences and going through the data binders, it’s much more meaningful and the parents see how engaged their child is in learning in the classroom and how excited they are about reaching their goal. I think it makes a huge difference when it's student centered and students are there to share that information with their parents,” Scherber said.

The students will make bar graphs each week to see where he or she strives and struggles.

Scherber said she prefers having students in the conference with their parents.

“I think the parents really love that, because they are seeing their student take ownership in their learning and their progress throughout the year. It’s very student centered,” Scherber said.

Fourth Grade Teacher at Valerius Elementary Missy O’Connor said it makes the conversation easier at conferences, and the parent can listen to why their child is having a harder time in one subject versus the other.

“They come with their parents. There's no surprises. They know where they are at, and what their goal is and where they should be. It’s fun for them, for me, to see them be proud of the work that they have made over the school year. I think parents probably enjoy hearing it from their students and to see that their students are taking ownership for their learning and taking their learning into their own hands,” O’Connor said.

The data binders are a tool used to help lead a conference.