Communication Timeline

2014-2015 School Year:

During our PTA meetings, we discussed student-led conferences twice during that time. I explained what they were and how we were going to work toward that. I shared with leadership team at Sandburg as we discussed conferences. None of these parents below attend PTA.

2015-2016 School Year:

A couple of 8th grade teachers piloted a small sample of students and liked it. I continued to mention, discuss and show parents a sample conference from a video of what a student-led conference could look like and how we were going to move that way. None of these parents listed below attend PTA.


Incoming sixth grade parent night. My presentation mentioned student-led conferences. I also attended a parent/PTA meeting at Hawthorne where I shared that student-led conferences were coming.

5/16/16: Monday Muscle Message:

Just to let you know, next year we will be using a new conference style for students, parents, and teachers that focuses on LEARNING instead of grades. It is student -led conferences. We have been discussing this at PTA, incoming sixth grade parent, and team meetings. This format will allow you to meet with your child and one teacher for a 10 minute period. During that time, your child will have a prepared script in which he/she will share goals, current learning, areas of success, and areas to focus on in their learning. This is a very different format than most of you have been used to in the past, but this provides the major stakeholders - student, parent, and teacher - an opportunity for all to be involved in learning. There will be more on this in August (like how to sign up) but for now, begin thinking about how this can change conversations with your own child in discussing their learning. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me.

5/23/16: Monday Muscle Message

We are already planning for student-led conferences in October. Staff has been meeting and collecting ideas for student scripts. Students will come with you to one of their teachers and present the conference. Including students is a valuable opportunity for parent, student, and teachers to all hear a consistent message with the student being the lead learner. More information to come in the fall!

5/31/16: Monday Muscle Message

Coming this fall….student-led conferences

Sandburg will be changing the way we hold our conferences this fall. The format of running around the building trying to get into each teacher’s classroom for 5 minutes and move on in a frantic motion is over. Hearing those bells every 5 minutes and moving along was distracting and did not build continuity into the process. Also, in the old format, we were leaving out the major stakeholder - your child! In this new format, your child will be presenting his/her information about learning, goal setting, and providing you with details about how he/she is learning. We are moving to a learning focus, student engagement, and feedback loop that aligns with District 205’s improvement plan, as well as Sandburg’s. Student grades are available constantly for parents to access in Powerschool. Our staff does a great job communicating to parents throughout the year through e-mail blasts, web pages, and team communications. We are excited about the change and look forward to this!


Curriculum night presentation with slides about student-led conferences and sign ups were available that night in the cafeteria.

8/29/16: Monday Muscle Message:

We are continuing our conversation on a learner-centered culture. Students are beginning to work on their first quarter goals. These goals are having a direct tie in with the upcoming conferences. Our goal is this: we are hoping for 100% participation in student-led conferences this October. If you did not sign up, please contact the office to sign up with your child’s seminar teacher. We will offer you open times. Each conference is 10 minutes and students are beginning to prepare during their extended seminar classes. These conferences provide students with an opportunity to share goals, reflections, and how they see themselves as a learner. Please contact me if you have any questions.

9/12/16: Monday Muscle Message

Student-led conferences are coming!

We are finalizing our schedules and getting students prepared for our first ever student-led conferences. Each conference will last ten minutes and is led by your son or daughter with one of his/her teachers. For those of you who have not signed up, you have until Friday, September 16th by 4pm to sign up. After that time, we will be assigning an available slot which will be communicated to you. Our goal is 100% participation.

9/19/16: Monday Muscle Message:

Conferences are coming

Students are working for part of their Tuesday extended seminar time to complete their slides and practice for upcoming student-led conferences. I hope each of you will take the opportunity to hear your child as he/she shares out about their learning styles and goals. If you have not scheduled a conference time, we will email you with a time we have reserved for you.

9/26/16: Monday Muscle Message:

Welcome to the last week in September. We are a full month into the school year now and things are going very well. Our student-led conferences are scheduled and students are preparing their presentations for you. This is giving our students a wonderful opportunity as they set goals, reflect on where they are so far this year, and how they see themselves as a learner. Students will discuss their strengths and areas of growth. I hope each of you plan to attend. It is an important role for your child as a learner to report out on his/her progress. For too long we have left students out of the most important discussions. In next week’s message, I will share out some sentence starters to use as you focus conversations on LEARNING and not on grades. Please know PowerSchool provides you 24/7 information on your child’s grades. Our conferences are focused on student goal setting, habits of mind, and reflections on how each student sees his/her learning.