My school Frank McCourt High School has a problem-based learning and outcome based grading. In alignment with our philosophy, we have been toying with student-led conferences for a while. We piloted student-led conferences in the 9th grade. Each conference was with the student's parents and advisor for 12 minutes. Students prepared letters and reflections on each class. They presented one strength and one weakness. The remainder of the time was for questions. Students were given a model for how to write their reflections
The process resulted in a significant increase in parental attendance. Students said they didn't like the amount of work they had to do in advance, but liked participating and felt proud. It was very time consuming to prepare. We learned we needed more support from classroom teachers to help students reflect on specific subjects. We also wished we had started earlier. We plan to move forward with a model of one traditional conference in the fall and one student-led conference in the spring.