Student-Led Conferences

During the school year, students in many Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools will participate in student-led conferences. Student-led conferences will be new for many students, parents, and teachers. This guide has been written for parents and others who want to better understand this form of conferencing. Additional information about student-led conferences can be obtained from your child's teacher or principal.

Why are We Having Student-Led Conferences?

We believe that student involvement in the conferences makes learning active, provides opportunities for students to evaluate their performance, and encourages students to accept responsibility for their learning. Having students take charge of the conference makes them more accountable for what they are learning. In addition, this form of conferencing creates a partnership between the home and the school that is hard to get in any other way. Both research and experience have demonstrated that student-led conferences offer many benefits including the following:

  • stronger sense of accountability among students;
  • stronger sense of pride in achievement among students;
  • more productive student-teacher relationships;
  • development of leadership skills among students;
  • greater parental participation in conferences; and
  • increased teacher focus on standards.

What Does a Student-Led Conference Look Like?

Prior to the conference, students will collect work that reflects what they have learned. Students will be taught how to select work samples and how to evaluate their work to determine their strengths and weaknesses. This work will usually be assembled in a portfolio or folder. As the students conduct the conference, they will explain skills they have learned and share goals they have set for themselves.

A block of time will be scheduled for you and your child to conference together. While a teacher or other staff member will serve as the conference facilitator, the student will lead the conference.

As your son or daughter shares his or her work, you may want to ask questions such as:

  • What can you tell me about this assignment?
  • What did you have to do to complete this assignment?
  • What skills did you have to use?
  • What would you do next time to improve your work?
  • What goals have you set?
  • How can I help you meet your goals?

Given our district's emphasis on literacy, your son or daughter will be asked to speak about the reading skills he or she is developing. Your child will provide you with a copy of the reading expectations. Your child's principal will have copies of the expectations if you do not receive a copy during the conference.

At the end of the conference, you will be asked to complete a quick survey that will help us evaluate the effectiveness of the conference. You can complete the survey at school immediately after the conference. If time does not permit you to complete the survey at school, it can be filled out at home and returned to school with your son or daughter.

What's the Role of the Parent in Student-Led Conferences?

We believe that student-led conferences are an important experience for all students and hope that all parents will be able to participate. Your role is critical to the success of the conference.

Your first role is as a listener. Having a parent audience for learning gives students a powerful reason to learn and work hard.

Your second role as a parent is to talk with the student about the work that will be presented. You will gain a better understanding of the academic expectations set for your child.

Your third role as a parent is to identify ways you can support the student to achieve goals that will be set for the next grading period.

What's the Role of the Student During Student-Led Conferences?

Students should be able to explain academic standards, discuss how the standards are reflected in their classroom work, and be able to set goals for improving performance during the next academic term.

What's the Role of the Teacher in Student-Led Conferences?

Teachers have several roles in preparing and conducting student-led conferences. Critical to the success of the conferences are three major activities:

  • The teacher makes sure that all students know and can discuss the academic standards.
  • The teacher makes sure conference materials are available for students and parents.
  • The teacher schedules and organizes the conferences to ensure successful communication.

What Should a Parent Do if He or She Cannot Attend the Conference?

Student-led conferences can be a very special time for you and your child. Please make yourselves available for these conferences. Schools will try to accommodate parent schedules. However, if it is not possible for you to attend alternate appointment times, you may want to ask a grandparent, another relative, or perhaps a family friend to take your place.

What Should a Parent Do if He or She Wants a Private Conference with the Teacher?

If, after attending the student-led conference, you wish to schedule an appointment to speak privately with the teacher, please let the teacher know.

Resource Links

500 REACH Community Learning Center

Linda Paul, Site Coordinator
7704 Parallel Parkway
Kansas City, Kansas 66112
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


500 Reach is a flexible education program for grades 9-12 and adult students to earn their high school diploma. It is a fully accredited virtual program with face-to-face access and support from an onsite instructor. 

Career Readiness

Career Cruising – a leading developer of online career guidance resources for the North American marketplace. Established in 1997, Career Cruising is currently used by over eight thousand institutions across North America, including schools, employment agencies, libraries, colleges, and universities.

Career Profiles – The Premier Career Search, Information, Job Descriptions & Education Guide
Making educated decision about a potential career can be a daunting and time consuming endeavor. For years has been assisting career minded professionals, job seekers and students make better, more informed career choices by providing them with highly relevant, reliable and up-to-date career information and job search resources.

Inside Career Info – Career Reports from the Real-World

Vocational Schools Database – RWM provides a database of Private Postsecondary Vocational Schools in all 50 states. It is organized first by State, then by Training Occupation.

College Readiness

Kansas Board of Regents Search Tool – Helps identify which higher education institutions offer which education programs. – When Schools Compete, Student Wins. Start Looking for a School/College/University. – OUR COMMITMENT: Help high school students make one of their most important decisions: where to go to college. With, students can gain the information they need to make informed decisions about where to continue their education. Parents can relax and know that they don't have to spend money on multiple campus visits because the campus experience comes to you through our web site.

FAFSA4caster – A tool to help families plan for college.

Instantly calculate a student's eligibility for federal student aid, including grants
Reduce the time it will take to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Simplify the financial aid process for students and families.
Kansas Colleges and Schools – Guide to Colleges and Schools in Kansas containing information on all 88 of the states colleges with student body figures, financial aid information, degree program listings, enrollment requirements, and loan information. American School Search helps students find a college that matches their lifestyle, budget, and location.

Online Degree Directory – It's a helpful resource for researching accredited online degrees and campus colleges.

Scholarship Help and Advice Center – The goal of this website is to educate students about scholarship access and the necessary requirements for achieving maximum financial aid. In addition, we provide our information free of charge to help students.

Great Resources for College Bound Students .pdf – Four .pdf pages filled with links you can click on to visit websites. Links provided by Alina Karam at National College Bound Program.

Undergrad Zone – These resources will help you research schools, prepare for interviews, outline essays, and plan the right path toward your career goals. You'll also learn about important aspects of campus life that your parents and counselors may not have told you about - such as the dreaded "freshman fifteen" (and how to avoid it), what to do when you need some quick cash, and how to be safe on campus.

Community Resources

Community Resource Guide .pdf

Department of Education (Kansas)

KS Dept. of Education 785-296-3201 120 S.E. 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612
Teacher Certifications School Accreditation Funding Grants
KSDE Custom Reports – The School Finance and Information Technology teams are pleased to announce a new website called the Kansas Education Comparative Performance & Fiscal System. This website provides anyone the ability to pick and choose selected school district data to design custom reports.

Department of Education (U.S.)

U.S. Dept. of Education 1-800-872-5327 400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20202-0498
Student Area
Parents & Families Area
Teachers Area
Administrators Area
Grants & Contracts Financial Aide


Families Together, Inc. – a statewide organization that serves families of children and youth with exceptional needs.

Early Childhood

WYCO Early Learning Collaborative Matrix of Services .pdf

Libraries (Kansas City, Kansas Public)

Argentine Library 913-722-7400 2800 Metropolitan
Kansas City, KS 66106
Main Library 913-551-3280 625 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66101
Turner Community Library 913-596-1404 831 South 55th Street
Kansas City, KS 66106
Mr. & Mrs. F. L. Schlagle
Environmental Library 913-299-2384 4051 West Drive
Wyandotte County Lake Park
Kansas City, KS 66109
West Wyandotte Library 913-596-5800 1737 N. 82nd Street
Kansas City, KS 66112
School Library Media

Math Resource Center

High School Math Resource Site — On this site, you will find valuable resources to assist you in the implementation of the benchmark curriculum. Some features of the site include ...

Benchmark information (AlGeo 1, 2, and 3)
Assessment information (AlGeo 1, 2, and 3)
Math Talk – a discussion forum for finding and sharing implementation ideas
Links to other math websites

MidAmerica Nazarene University

Master in Education 913-782-3750 2030 E. College Way
Olathe, KS 66062-1899

Principal Resources

The Principals' Partnership – Sponsored by Union Pacific Union Pacific ... a program designed to assist principals in selected Union Pacific communities to meet their leadership needs and professional growth objectives.

Search Engines

Alta Vista Ask Excite
Google Hotbot Infoseek (GO)
Northern Light Webcrawler Yahoo
Teacher Resources is an online subscription service that provides printable worksheets to teachers and homeschooling parents. We offer a wide range of materials, including math, language arts, reading and writing, social studies, science, and much more!

Local School Directory – Our site has many features for Teachers, Administrators and Parents. We offer lesson plans for teachers, allow administrators to update their school profile page and parents can post reviews about their children's schools. We have 130,000+ public and private schools in our directory.

Schoolhouse Technologies – Resource creation software for educators from Schoolhouse Technologies saves you the time to do what you do best - teach! Now you can deliver an individualized educational experience with Windows based software tools that can quickly and easily create instructional worksheets, activities, and tests for a wide range of student levels and abilities.

TrackStar is your starting point for online lessons and activities. Simply collect Web sites, enter them into TrackStar, add annotations for your students, and you have an interactive, online lesson called a Track. Create your own Track or use one of the hundreds of thousands already made by other educators. Search the database by subject, grade, or theme and standard for a quick and easy activity. There is a fun Track already made for each day of the year, too!


The University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine & Telehealth 913-588-2226 2012 Wahl Annex
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160-7171

Test Preparation



SAT Prep Plan – The SAT Prep Plan site contains SAT practice problems, a customized SAT preparation plan, SAT problem solving videos, SAT vocabulary flash cards and free online SAT test preparation books and materials. Click on 'Start the Practice Test' to begin, or browse our SAT study material. Everything on the site is completely free to students and educators.

SAT Prep Help – This site has free SAT practice questions and study tips.

Test Prep Review – is a free service of a nonprofit group of educators. This website was created to provide free practice test questions for students in a variety of career situations. The site contains a modular approach to learning the content on these exams. We include the information that will help you get maximum value from your testing experience.

Know Your Timeline

As you and your teen get ready for the journey to college, the following timelines are important for your teen to follow. You don't want to put off preparing until the last minute, because you can miss important deadlines for testing, admissions, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities. If you need assistance with this college planning process, you can always contact your teen's school counselor, who can aid you in this journey.

Junior Year Activities

Fall – Winter

Contact colleges/programs of interest for visitations –visit some during school breaks ... the College Search webpage provides links to colleges in your local area and ways to search for nationwide campus information.
Review your transcript with your guidance counselor.

Spring – Summer

  • Continue to visit colleges/programs of interest – spring break and summer are great times to visit out of town schools!
  • Take the ACT or SAT
  • Start search for scholarships ...
  • Select teachers, family friends to write recommendations
  • Prepare your resume (for scholarships and applications) and save it to update as needed
  • Prepare some general application essays

Senior Year Activities

September – November

  • Take ACT or SAT ... for scholarships / certain schools
  • Contact colleges / programs of interest to set up visits
  • Start applying for scholarships – see your school counselor for an updated list
  • Review your transcript with your counselor
  • Contact teachers, family friends to write recommendations
  • Refine your resume and update it as needed

November – December

  • Get your applications in EARLY by Thanksgiving – watch for deadlines, apply to more than one institution, and pick one in your local area ... just in case!
  • Retake ACT or SAT if necessary
  • Intensify your search for scholarships

January – February

  • Financial aid – prepare your income tax early, financial aid forms need to be filed as soon as possible. Know your colleges' priority deadlines! Get it done by February 15 and you will be safe.

March – June

  • Watch for admission letters to arrive
  • Make your final decisions
  • Notify your counselor of where to send your final transcript
  • Get ready to go to school!!!

Parent Zone

Help Your Teenager:

(Resources and Tips for Families)

Articles / Handouts:

Web Resources:

  • KPIRC []: The Kansas Parent Information Resource Center (KPIRC), federally funded under Title V of No Child Left Behind, is the official Parent Information Technical Assistance Center for the state of Kansas. KPIRC promotes meaningful parent involvement at all levels of education and provides information and resources to help parents, educators and other organizations promote the educational success of every Kansas child.
  • Internet Resources to Help Your Child Learn Better
  • Parent Topics — National PTA Parent Resources

Family Advocate System (FAS)

In the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, we believe that a parent is the student's first teacher, and that positive relationships between families, teachers and students will help students to be successful. Family Advocacy is the vehicle that the district uses to strengthen relationships with parents. The district recognizes that students need support at home to be successful in school. So, KCKPS has created the Family Advocate System to create a home-school connection. Each professional and support staff person is assigned to approximately 12 to 17 students and their families. The staff/family relationship last the entire time the students attend the school. This means that the key adults in each student's life have ongoing contact with one another, communicating about the student's academic and personal needs. The district has implemented the Family Advocate System in all of its schools.

Family Advocates:

  • Meet at least 30 minutes each week designated for Family Advocacy time.
  • Family Advocates facilitate prosocial skills during that time using Second Step, Pre-K through 8th grade and School Connect at the High Schools.
  • Meet and orient new students to the small learning communities.
  • Work with students and families to identify interests, build strengths and head off problems.
  • Support students' academic and behavior progress using a continuous stream of information from other teachers, the school and the district.
  • Plan and lead at least two meetings each year with each student and parents or guardians.
  • Get in touch with each family at least once a month.
  • Help other faculty and staff work effectively with the student.