Dear Middle School Parents:

I hope all our MS SIS Families enjoy their March Break and we look forward to seeing our students back on campus on Monday, April 3rd!

As we transition into April there are a few reminders that I would like to draw your attention to beginning with our Student Led Conference Days that occur on Thursday, April 13th and Friday, April 14th. These conferences provide a wonderful opportunity for you to witness first hand the academic abilities of your children and they provide time to discuss and support your children in their education. I hope you and your child enjoy this special time together!

We are inviting Grade 5 Parents to a Middle School transition meeting planned for April 24th from 10:15 AM -11:15 AM in the 4th floor Multi- Purpose Room. At this meeting we will introduce Grade 5 Parents to Power School, Edmodo and discuss other important MS topics to help your children make a smoother transition from Grade 5 to Middle School Grade 6. All Grade 5 Parents are welcome to attend this meeting.

High School will also have the Grade 8 Parent transition meeting during this month. This will be an opportune time for parents to learn about SIS Ninth Grade and to poise any questions they may have regarding this change from Middle to High School for their children. The date for this meeting is Wednesday, April 5th and the location for this important meeting will be the auditorium and not the MPR as I had mentioned in an earlier parent letter. This meeting will occur from 11:00-12:00.

In addition our last MS Parent Coffee meeting for this year will also occur on April 5th from 10:00-11:00 in the 4th floor MPR Room. This meeting will precede the Grade 8 transitional parent meeting.

In closing I would like to wish all our SIS Families a Happy Easter! I have also included an article below about Student-Led Conferences for Parents.

Sincerely,

Tim Teiman

MS Principal

Article on Student-Led Conferences:

Right after Spring Break, the Middle School will have Student-Led Conferences. At that time, each student will be presenting themselves as reflective learners by explaining their work to you in all core subject areas during a 20-minute conference.  This process empowers students by letting them lead a discussion of their academic and personal growth and celebrate their accomplishments. The session will include a guided reflection of their classwork, study habits, and class participation skills in each of their academic classes during second semester. The article below identifies several tips for attending your child’s conference. We are excited to continue the important process of self-assessment and reflection in your child’s learning and look forward to seeing you in April!

           3 Pieces of Advice for Your Child’s Student-Led Conference

  1. Be present for your child—–It’s precious time for your child. Leave other siblings out of the room by setting up activities and chairs in the hallway. Put your smart phone and any other distractions away. Take notes if you find that helpful.
  2. Focus on growth——-In an SLC, the student is meant to describe their learning and progress since your last conversation. They may identify and describe goals, show work and evidence of proficiencies, and share reflections upon learning. Parents can keep their eyes on the big picture and look for noticeable areas of growth or improvement.
  3. Schedule a follow-up—–At a student led conference, some conversations that parents may want to have with a teacher are out of place. In order to avoid the inappropriate conversation, follow up with the teacher privately. Most teachers are more than happy to schedule a separate appointment.

Parents play an important role at the Student Led Conference

You are true partners in your child’s learning and growth, and student-led conferences provide you invaluable opportunity to stop, sit and really hear who your child is, and who they want to be. Your student will tell you what they’re proud of, and what they want to learn about. Especially for young adolescents and middle grades students, that’s not a conversation that frequently happens organically. Make the most of the time they’re taking to open up to you, and respond with support, kindness and undivided attention. Student-led conferences are opportunities for both you and your child to connect, and feel empowered. It’s great for both of you to be in the room.

Rachel Mark, Tarrant Institute, University of Vermont