Dear Matador Families,

It is that time of year again!  Our conference day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018.  We’re gearing up for our third year of student-led conferences, and we’re excited to have even more families participate this year.

We invite you to check out our new Emmy-worthy video that explains the process, and we encourage you to save the date on your calendar for a 20 minute student-led conference on November 6th.  The first half of the day will be at JT Moore, and the second half of the day will be at Watson Grove Church in Edgehill, and your family may choose either location for a conference.  Teachers will be sending out sign-up information after fall break.  In the meantime, please review our frequently asked questions below.

Remember, don’t miss that Emmy worthy video! https://youtu.be/YxmqITZqgk0

Thanks for your support!  We’re looking forward to seeing you on November 6th.

Onward & upward,

Carly Price

IB Coordinator & Instructional Coach

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a student-led conference?  Check it out: https://youtu.be/YxmqITZqgk0 A student-led conference is an opportunity for students to showcase their work and articulate their learning to adults in their lives.  Students have prepared a portfolio of work on which they’ve reflected, and they’ve taken the time to think about their behavior, attitudes toward learning, and their current report card.  Students and adults come together on conference day and discuss celebrations & solutions.  Teachers help by supporting the conversations, but teachers are not the sole source of information.

What if I do not feel I need a conference?  Conferences are not required, but they’re encouraged to help students develop communication and reflection skills.  Students are proud of their growth, and they’d like to show you their work and discuss with you their opportunities to improve.

What if I cannot attend conferences on Nov. 6?  Conferences are not required, but they’re encouraged to help students develop communication and reflection skills.  You’re welcomed to send another trusted adult with whom the student will share his/her/their work.

What if my child cannot attend?  Students are strongly encouraged to attend with an adult.  This is a meaningful experience for them, and an opportunity for them to show ownership and investment in their own success.  If a student cannot attend, families are still welcomed to come pick up students’ portfolios and ask questions of teachers as they’re viewing student work and reflections.

What if I prefer my child not attend? Students are strongly encouraged to attend, and we believe all parties involved will benefit from students’ presence.  Because we’ve been working on these skills during Advisory and other classes, this is a great opportunity for students to practice these skills with adults.  Inviting students to the conversation about their work is a crucial component to their ownership and investment in their own success.  According to our JTM vision & mission, “We see challenges as opportunities to grow.”

What if I’m no longer with my child’s other parent?  Can I have a separate conference? We understand that families come in many forms.  Due to our limited time on November 6, we’d prefer that each family only occupy one time slot.  If this is not possible, please discuss the arrangements with the grade level teachers.

What are the time slots & locations?  8-11:45am at JT Moore, and 1-4:45pm at Watson Grove Church at corner of Horton Ave. & 15th Ave. in the Edgehill/Hillside community.  The address is: 1415 Horton Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212.  Grade level teachers will be communicating time slots & availability.

Will teachers be at the conferences?  Yes.  Teachers will either be seated with each family, or they’ll be floating around to each family to answer questions and support the conversation.   Teachers will be visiting several families during each time slot.

How have students prepared for this?  We began working during our Advisory classes in the month of October develop our portfolios and to refine our communication and reflection skills.  We’ve discussed how growth is challenging and scary sometimes, but that it is worth it.  We’ve discussed the elements of a good reflection, how to speak our truths with integrity and respect, and how to receive feedback, even if we disagree with it. These are all part of our IB Approaches to Learning, or the essential skills students need for a lifetime of success.

What if I don’t think my child is ready for this level of reflective conversation?  This is our third year of student-led conferences, and each year we’ve seen high quality conversations bring families together in wonderful ways. Because we’ve been working on these reflection skills during Advisory and other classes, this is a great opportunity for students to practice these skills with the adults in their lives.  Inviting students to the conversation about their work is a crucial component to their ownership and investment in their own success.  According to our JTM vision & mission, “We see challenges as opportunities to grow.”  We will give you questions to discuss with the student after the conference to keep the conversation going.  You’ll see a different side of your student come alive!

What if I have more to talk about after my time slot is complete?  We will give you questions to discuss with the student after the conference to keep the conversation going.  We hope that this will become a regular practice outside school, if it is not already.

What if I already have these kinds of conversations with my child?  Excellent!  We hope you continue to do so.  We’re hoping to engage all families in such conversations about growth, and this is a great time to begin or continue practicing.

Are students in Exceptional Education classes included in this? We would love for all students to be involved in ways that fit. It is our hope that each team and family will make the best decisions for each child.  If this student-led conference is not the best format for the student, the team and family are welcomed to make other arrangements.

Can I send my child alone? This is not the best choice, because we want to maintain the safety of all children and ensure the day provides positive experiences for everyone involved.  Therefore, all adults are going to be working to make sure conferences go smoothly, so please do not send your child unsupervised.  Unfortunately, childcare is not provided.

How will I be able to provide feedback?  After the conferences, you’ll see iPads on which we’d love for you to take our exit survey.  We’d like to hear from you about the strengths and opportunities for growth in our first year of doing student-led conferences.  We appreciate your constructive feedback to help us improve.