Students lead parent-teacher conferences

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - In Perryville students lay it all out- the good news and the bad news in student-led parent teacher conferences.

Middle School kids have be totally honest, their grades, their goals and their strengths and weaknesses.

It is all part of the school's character building plan to turn kids into leaders and keep them engaged.

"It opens the dialogue because middle school kids tend to go home and say they've learned nothing at school and this opens the conversation because now parents know what's going on," said principal, Velda Haertling.

Administrators say it develops leadership and keeps students motivated and parents involved.

"We went from 30-percent parent involvement to over 85-percent," said Haertling.

Heartland News observed watched three students in action.

"I like how he has to tell me the truth," said Michelle Orf. Her son is 7th grader, Wyatt Orf.

"For me there's nothing really hard about it," said Wyatt. "It has gotten easier."

Wyatt delivered nothing but good news to his mom.

"I always try to do my best," said Wyatt.

"It's teaching him how to be a leader and lead a meeting and be a leader not a follower," said Michelle Orf.

Eighth grader Holly Clifton also gave her dad a good report. She's also had several years of practice. Students start in 5th grade.

"It was kind of scary the first time," said Holly. "I was afraid I wasn't gonna do it right."

"She was really nervous the first time but she's gotten a lot better. We try to keep her focused on school and this helps with that," said dad, Kevin Clifton.

Students like Maci Hotop say the process has taught her a lot.

"It helps me speak in front of people," said Maci.

She also had good news for mom and dad.

"We like being involved," said Jwanell Hotop, Maci's mom. "She's really blossomed."

"This gives the parent and the child an opportunity to sit down and talk about their goals," said teacher Carrie Buchheit. "We are really proud of all the kids."

Teachers say they are happy to report most conferences involve nothing but good news, and a chance for students to shine.

"They're prepared and they do very well," said Jane Narrow. "I think a lot of parents are impressed with how well the kids perform and lead a meeting."

The conferences are mandatory. Students say it's nerve wracking the first time, but gets easier and keeps them on track.

Staff and parents love to see their kids become leaders.

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