Traditional conferences in the past


Screenshot of the cover of the student-led slides. Students then had to fill out the rest of the slides with their information.

Written by Mya Scott, Editor-in-chief


At the end of the nine weeks, there are always two days off of school. Students used to just be able to enjoy the free two days without even knowing why they were off. But this year, the school tried something different. Instead of the usual parent-teacher conferences, which were primarily between the parent and teacher, the school tried a new sensation called student-led conferences. 

This trend has been sweeping its way across Kansas, according to principal Brent Harrell. Schools like Cheney, Garden Plain, Goddard, and Maize have been trying this new method to try and challenge students to be engaged with their own learning. 

“I think that the old-fashioned parent-teacher conference just kind of lost its importance amongst folks, given that electronic communication makes it so much easier to be informed of a student’s progress,” Harrell said. “Student-led conferences go along with the state’s vision for college and career readiness. They want kids being more active with their own learning journey.”

Besides getting students engaged, there were other factors that caused this decision.

“[The school did student-led conferences] because we weren’t getting great participation rates prior to this,” history teacher Craig Frederick. “Although some teachers might have been, you know… I give extra credit, so I got a ton of kids. We had some teachers, though, who had nobody.”

Many students said they liked this new program and believed it had many benefits. 

“Benefits are you get to explain and work on your presenting skills,” freshman Jase Downey said. 

Other students also said they liked the explaining portion of the new way of conferences. 

“I think [student-led conferences] were interesting,” sophomore Gabe Murphy said. “I enjoyed it. It was different from what I’m used to. It really explained more than your average conference.” 

Principal and students alike would like to see this new way of conferences continued into the future.