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Fulton High School Students Getting Ready To Lead Their Own Parent Conferences

G. Ray Bodley High School students accustomed to sitting glumly through their annual parent-teacher conferences will have to sport a new attitude soon.  That’s because students will be running the conferences, not the teachers.

The high school is in the third year of a new system in which students attend a class called “advisory” every day.  It’s intended to help link students more closely to the services they need to succeed.

As part of the advisory classes, students have been building portfolios of their school work.

This March, students will show off their portfolios at conferences which they are preparing to lead.  They’re preparing those portfolios as part of their work in advisory class.

“Students need to be taking a more active role in their education,” high school Principal Brian Buchanan said recently as he discussed the student-led conferences with the Board of Education.

The portfolios will show parents work that students are proud of, while also discussing their weaknesses and their goals.

The student’s advisory teacher will be on hand for the conference.  Administrator Betsy Conners said students can also ask a teacher or someone else whom they respect to stop in for the conference.

The student-led conferences are scheduled for March.  Buchanan said they have been timed to be between the winter and spring sports seasons to reduce schedule conflicts.  School will be closed for one day for daytime sessions and there will be an evening session.

Board member Robbin Griffin said while the conferences are a good idea, she’s “not comfortable with changing the schedule to do this.”  She said citizens have complained to her about changes to the school year schedule.  “People who don’t like this will think we didn’t listen to them,” she said.

The student-led advisory days do not appear on the instructional calendar posted on the district’s website nor on the calendar for the high school, though one day is set aside on Friday, March 19 for a staff development day.