Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2001

Conference helps students, parents prepare for future

April 26, 2001

Students have enough decisions to make come graduation time, be it entering the work force or choosing a vocational school, college or university. But students in the Eudora school district can benefit from a program that should prepare them for those decisions when they come to that road.

Eudora West Elementary (EWE) will hold its School to Careers conference for sixth-graders from on Friday. At the conference, students, parents and teachers will discuss the student's progress. While this may sound like a parent-teacher conference, it has its differences. The conferences are not mandatory, but strongly encouraged.

Rod Moyer, EWE principal, said the conference helps to examine a student's strengths and also identifies problem areas. As students enter EWE, a portfolio charts their and is continued though high school.

"If you think 'Billy' needs to go to college, then maybe he needs to work on his reading in the summertime," Moyer said. "When we do (the conference), we don't do it with the idea of stressing 'your child needs to go to college.' It's more of an awareness."

As students enter Eudora Middle School (EMS), the program is continued. EMS held its School to Careers conference for its eighth-graders in March.

"The conference we have, we talk to the parents about where their interests lie and where their strengths or weaknesses lie," said EMS principal Dale Sample. "We try to let the parents know what classes would be needed to take in high school. It's a day that's well spent."

The final stage of the School to Careers conferencing occurs at Eudora High (EHS) during a student's sophomore year. An exit interview is held and a parent, student and advisor sign off on a plan that will prepare a student for the right direction after college.

"What we do is we review some of their test scores in regards to their academic futures," said EHS principal Marty Kobza. "We make a plan for them for their 11th and 12th grade year.

Kobza said the plan is designed so students aren't tempted to take easier classes, but rather ones that challenge and prepare them for life after high school.

"We have that form to refer to and say 'these are your goals,'" Kobza said. "Also, it's a good lesson. It's a way to educate parents for what students are going to need to reach their goals."

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