NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A school in Queens is making parent-teacher conferences a thing of the past.
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reports PS/IS 119 in Glendale is turning to student-led conferences, where students present their own progress reports to their parents instead of teachers. The teacher serves as a moderator during these progress reports.
Students as young as kindergarten age give these progress reports. Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School has been doing it for years.
“For open-mindedness, I give myself a four because I like to meet new people and share ideas,” one student told her parents.
However, some parents are not comfortable with the change.
“Before, you see each different teacher, and he told you what they do and the grades for your son and does he participate in school,” Asmaa Moukrim told CBS2.
Miller Calberto is worried a lot of things will “fall through the cracks” in the student-led conferences.
“How much can you actually trust that they’re going to be forthcoming with all the information that you need?” Calberto questioned.
Scott Hartl, president of EL Education, oversees the curriculum at 150 schools across the country, including 10 in New York City where students have been leading their own conferences for more than a decade.
Hartl told CBS2 that students get more invested by holding these conferences with their parents.
“You see them take pride in their learning. You see them get smarter and smarter about what works as a learner for them and you see them get invested,” Hartl said.
The administration at each city public school decides what kind of conference to have. While it’s not mandatory to hold student-led conferences, the Department of Education says it encourages it.
Parents are hoping these student-led conferences will encourage their children to take ownership of all their work and behavior at school.
All New York City public schools are required to hold four parent-teacher, or student-led conferences, each year.