Conferences need to be planned in the scheme of the larger school's goals to connect to families throughout the year or it can become an artificial disruption of the schedule with little participation. Conferences developed as a formative assessment to support continued learning and growth will create opportunities for students to display not only their successes but how they overcame challenges and what kind of support they (the students) need to continue to develop socially, emotionally, and academically. This also gives parents an opportunity to share deeply personal moments of pride, concern, and goals. I've seen families completely transform their schedules and activities with students taking ownership of their goals in response to the support. Conferences need to be scheduled around the needs of our families (this includes the acknowledgement that teacher have families too). Coming together at the beginning of the year to include all stake holders in the goals and how to achieve the goals of the conferences can yield some innovative solutions unique to your community.