February 20, 2018

Fall Conferences Change This Year

As many students and parents are aware, student conferences are very important to the Sanford Community. Yet, this year Sanford has changed its parent/teacher conferences to parent/advisor conferences in the fall. What brought on the change this year?

“Student Conferences are important so that we can be on the same page in terms of the student’s academic functioning,” said Lauren Ziady, Upper School Counselor and Learning Services Coordinator.

Student conferences are designed this year to give advisors more involvement in the student’s life by having advisors meet with parents to discuss all of the student’s classes.

“It just helps the advisor to get to know the student better,” said Ziady.

This year with the new conference, the advisors have taken many steps to be ready for the conferences.

“To prepare for the conference the advisor has to both talk with the student beforehand, and also talk with all of the student’s teachers,” said Ziady.

Ziady had big expectations that the advisor conferences would go well this year.

“I have hopes that we’ve prepared our advisors really well for the conference with parents,” said Ziady, “We’ve been talking with teachers… coaches … advisors basically to get a snap shot of what is going on with the whole child.”

Yet Ziady is not the only advisor who has high hopes for the student conferences.

“I think the parents will get more of an overview of how the students are doing… how the teachers here sort of see the students.” said advisor and art teacher Alex Ball.

This change to giving advisory more of a part in the students lives is not just in the conferences taking place soon, but also in the classroom.

“When I started doing advisory, we really just took attendence and now we’re doing Martin Luther King Day together, and we really are the advocate for the student and follow them all four years,” said Ball.

Ball believes that the conference this year will be better than last year’s conference.

“I think that in terms of the connection that the family and I and the student will have will be stronger… and I think that the parents will know that their will be a specific person at this school who will be like an advocate for their child,”said Ball.

Conferences help parents to  get an overview of how their child is doing in school.

“I liked the fact that there was one person who was able to help me streamline all the information of what my child is doing in class,” said Casey Zimmer, Middle School parent.

Yet conferences will not only help the parents but also ultimately help the students.

“I think they’re good not only for a new light for my parents to see me in, but as well as my own success, because I can appreciate what I do,” said junior David Kelly.

Overall, Student conferences affect all parts of the Sanford community: advisors, parents, teachers, and students.

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Tim Griffith

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