Student-led conferences

One of author Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is to “Begin with the End in Mind.” This fits with USD 113’s strategy of using Individual Plans of Study (IPS) to encourage our older students to prepare for their post-secondary lives.

IPS help students identify strengths, define career goals and make plans to achieve those goals. Effective student-led conferences help provide focus and accountability for students as they are encouraged to plan and make research-based decisions on their post-secondary goals.

Schools are encouraged to implement student-led conferences to increase participation in parent-teacher conferences, to elevate the relationship between schools and communities, and to encourage the accountability of implementing individual plans of study.

At the conferences, students discuss short-term and long-term goals, as well as learning styles. They provide parents information about career exploration and detail future plans for high school courses that would best meet the needs for post-secondary education and/or careers. They also discuss their academic performance and how that connects to future plans.

As students select high school courses, we want to avoid the temptation to not take hard classes – high school is supposed to be fun! “Fun” in this context means a lack of academic rigor and work. As a district superintendent who knows and values taxpayer dollars, I want our students to have fun; but more importantly, I want them to take full advantage of the education that is being offered. IPS and the accountability provided by student-led conferences helps our students and families make well-informed educational decisions for coursework that will be relevant to future plans.

Student-led conferences are just one example of school improvement initiatives that are being implemented in our district. I applaud the efforts of our staff to continue to be innovative and to make changes involving application of content to life after K-12 education. This is an exciting time to be in education, and I am inspired by the USD 113 staff who are leading the charge in these areas.


Todd Evans25 Posts

Todd Evans currently serves as Superintendent of Prairie Hills USD No. 113 in Kansas. USD No. 113 operates Pre-K through 12 schools in the communities of Sabetha, Wetmore and Axtell.


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