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Upper School Updates: Student Led Conferences

Dear Upper School Parents and Guardians,

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Wow, the 8th grade put on a fantastic performance of Mary Poppins. It was so nice seeing you and your children in attendance. I’m so proud of the class of 2023 and look forward to playing basketball with them this afternoon. I hope you all have a wonderful Spring Break. Below are some updates and announcements:

Spring Conferences / Student Led Conferences: As you’ve heard, the Spring Conferences this year are Student Led Conferences (SLC) on April 13 & 14. Your children have spent lots of time preparing for these conferences, so please schedule a conference during these two days. Below is more information about SLCs and the logistics.

Why student-led conferences in the spring?

  • These conferences provide an excellent opportunity for students to talk about their learning, their strengths, what they are proud of, and areas for growth with the adults that know them best.

  • SLCs connect to our mission by providing time and space for students to talk about their academic accomplishments while fostering a community of lifelong learning.

  • We know that when students are engaged in conversations about their learning process, it fosters a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset, with students putting more attention into the learning process and not just on the outcomes.

  • From a developmental perspective, Upper School students are beginning to individuate more, and SLCS provides a process for them to become more involved and play a more central role in their learning.


  • April 13 is a 12:00 dismissal for EC-8 students. SLCs will be held from 1:00-6:00pm.

  • April 14 is not a school day and SLCS will be held from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

  • We are asking students and parents to be on campus for their 20-minute SLC.

  • Sign-ups will be sent on Tuesday, March 28.

  • There is auxiliary programming being offered on both days to support families with childcare. Please see the note from our Auxiliary Programs Director, Kyla McMahon, click here to learn more about the offerings, including a babysitting course for 6th - 8th graders. Registration for these programs will launch in conjunction with conference sign ups on Tuesday, March 28.

  • The SLC will last for 20 minutes, with 5 - 10 minutes after the student-led segment, where the students are dismissed to the gym, and the adults can connect briefly.

  • After Spring Break, I will send more details on ways parents can participate in these conferences.

Please Ask your Students About

5th Grade:

Literacy: Ask me about graphic novels.

Math: Ask me about decimal place values and how to round decimals.

Social Studies: Ask me about our colonies setting sail in our simulation.

Science: Turning the data gathered from observing their terrariums into a double bar graph.

Wellness: What does compassion mean? How does it differ from passion? What is an example of compassion in action?

Spanish: ask me about how I put together all the different activities I enjoy doing in different seasons to create a booklet about my life.

6th Grade:

Math: How I learned to graph the basic linear equations and my research on famous women of color mathematicians.

Geo/World Cultures: What current event did I choose to create my news broadcast this week?


  • How would you describe a healthy relationship from an unhealthy relationship? What emotions are present in each scenario?

  • Name one of the many healthy and nutrient-dense ingredients in Mrs. Skaane’s chocolate sunbutter bars?

Spanish: the process of making tortillas in Mexico, and how it can create strong bonds between people working together

Science: Plate tectonics!

English: The word concise!

7th Grade:

Math (Carbo): How to find missing sides of right triangles and what is the difference between simplifying and estimating square roots.

Math (Carver): how to use the Pythagorean Theorem to classify a triangle by angles if only side lengths are known.

Internet Literacy (Sect. 1 only): How I use my amazing search skills and understanding of DNS (Domain Name System) to tell truth from lies online!

History: Whether Manifest Destiny was worth the price to the environment and native peoples.


  • How do emotions help shape my mindset and beliefs about learning? What emotions are present when I am in my best mindset for learning?

  • Name one of the many healthy and nutrient-dense ingredients in Mrs. Skaane’s chocolate sunbutter bars?

French: The classic Acadian book “Le Chandail” how it ends, and maybe how I would have liked it to end.

Science: what protein I made in science class?

English: Declamation!

8th Grade:

History: What format did I use to demonstrate my understanding of the similarities and differences between Japan and Germany in World War 2?

Math (Section 1): when to use which of two linear forms

Math (Section 2): the difference between Simple and Compound interest


  • What are some of the mindfulness meditation practices that professional athletes use to support their mental strength, clarity and performance?

  • What restorative yoga pose did you like, and why?

English: Boston Theater Company’s Visit with the 8th Grade

The 8th Grade Play!

Please enjoy your Spring Break!


Mr. Samson

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