Dear Students (and Parents),

Southern Oaks Middle School is committed to the process of collaborative data inquiry to support student learning! Our goal is to ensure that every student at SOMS has the information and support needed to learn and perform at high levels of achievement.  This year, teachers and students will be working together to regularly gather and review data about how each student is performing in relation to grade-level standards.  Our goal is that students will clearly understand:

  • What skills and knowledge are expected in each class,
  • How they are performing in relation to course expectations at all times,
  • What strengths, areas for improvement, and goals they have in each class, and
  • What instruction, information, practice, or support they need to reach their goals.

SOMS staff will help you learn how to collect and analyze different kinds of data in each class so you can clarify course expectations, learn about your progress and set goals.  In addition to your usual progress reports and Skyward access, you will be keeping a data folder/work portfolios to help you and your family track your progress around specific assignments and skills. During conferences you will have the opportunity to meet with your teachers and your family to review these data, your goals, your needs and your achievements. Your student will also present information to you during student-led conferences.   Your goals may fall into three categories:

Academic – skills and information related to specific subject areas and standards, becoming a self-directed learner, attitude towards learning, willingness to take risks and make mistakes, etc.


Organizational – using conference planner effectively, turning homework in on time, completing assignments, organizing materials, etc.


Social – behavior in class, relationships with peers, role in group work, sense of social responsibility, participation, leadership, etc.


We are looking forward to an exciting year where students, faculty and families will be learning together!




Why are we having student-led-conferences?

We believe that student involvement in the conferences makes learning active, provides opportunities for students to evaluate their performance, and encourages students to accept responsibility for their learning. Having students take charge of the conference makes them more accountable for what they are learning. In addition, this form of conferencing creates a partnership between the home and school.


Benefits include:

􀀁 Stronger sense of student accountability

􀀁 Stronger sense of pride in achievement

􀀁 Productive student-teacher relationships

􀀁 Development of student leadership skills

􀀁 Greater parental participation in conferences

􀀁 Greater parent-teacher communication

􀀁 Increased teacher focus on standards


What is a student-led conference like?

Prior to the conference, students will collect work, reflect on academic progress and

Grades and set goals. . This work will be collected and presented to the parent or guardian by the student according to an agenda. Students will explain the expected conduct of the conference. The student will run their own conference.


What are the roles of the parent in a student-led conference?

We believe that student-led conferences are an important part of your student’s education.

Your  parent/guardian or advocate’s participation is critical to the success of the conference.


What if I have questions and want to set up a meeting to meet with counselors and/or teachers?

Call and make an appointment.  These types of meetings will not be available during student-led conference night.