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  • Last modified 21 days ago (Nov. 1, 2017)

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Goessel students report to parents at parent-teacher conference

Staff writer

How better to engage students in their education than to give them the responsibility to report their academic progress to their parents?

That idea is what led Goessel Junior/Senior High School to change the way it conducts parent-teacher conferences.

Principal Scott Boden said he shared the idea with staff at the beginning of the year as a way to increase family engagement in and student ownership of their education. He was pleased that the staff was quick to embrace the idea.

In scheduled sessions, students presented information to their parents about their progress. They shared samples of classroom work, grade reports, and standardized assessment scores and goals. They also presented their high school course plans and evaluations of their strengths and weaknesses.

Language arts teacher Megan Duerksen said the event was positive for students and parents.

“I like that my students took more ownership by preparing for their presentations,” she said. “It was fun to watch them share. Sometimes, they looked at grades together, and sometimes parents asked questions, and students could answer them right there.”

She said she and other teachers were there to guide students through their presentations.

“I was pleased that my group, at least, was prepared,” she said. “Some of the kids were nervous about it, but afterward they said it wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be.”

Superintendent John Fast said he received many positive comments from parents regarding the new format. One oft-repeated comment was that their child demonstrated responsibility and more ownership of their education by leading the conference.

Fast said one of the reasons for the change was an effort to align with the Kansans Can vision for education that places a greater emphasis on developing individual plans of study based on career interest and helping students develop more employability skills.

Last modified Nov. 1, 2017

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