Student-led conferences (commonly known as SLCs) will include parents this year. Conferences in previous years included only students and their advisor. During SLCs, students will reflect on their academic and social experience at Sequoyah, evaluating both successes and challenges they have faced and exploring strategies for continued growth.
High School Director Marc Alongi said parents are being included “because parents are such a critical partner in education” and “should be there … really encouraging the student, listening to the student, providing support, and also asking hard questions.” Alongi said that students may not want their parents at SLCs because students “want independence from [their] parents” as they are “working on becoming an adult.” He hopes that by working with both their advisor and parents, students will realize there are people who want to support them and help them make changes to their academic or social lifestyle.
Spanish teacher and 11th grade advisor Marisol Perez mentioned the similarities between the K–8 conference program and the growing SLC program at the high school. She said this year’s changes are “providing a bridge between [the] K–8 and high school.” Perez also said she thinks another reason for the change is to “establish closer relationships between parents, advisors, and students.”
Inviting parents to SLCs, though, may not be easy, according to tenth grade advisor and History teacher Lindsey Graham. She said, “some families live much further away, or maybe don’t have as flexible job schedules” as other families, which may make it hard for them to travel to Pasadena for their child’s conference.
Tenth grader Ben Parkhurst said that now that SLCs include parents, “there’s a bit more anxiety and pressure.” Parkhurst also spoke about the unfamiliar social dynamics that may occur during SLCs. He said that during SLCs, “you would have to be talking the same way with your parents and with your teachers,” which can be “a little annoying because your home, for a lot of people, is a place where [you] can let their hair down.” Despite some of his concerns, Parkhurst thinks that it will be a positive change, because SLC forms this year are “less work, which is always nice.” Parkhurst noted that the work students need to complete to prepare for their SLCs this year (referencing one of the three forms students choose from to evaluate themselves and their education) is “more helpful and more meaningful” than in years past.