Montevallo High School has expanded its successful report card conferences to all grade levels (9-12). The report card conferences were started last year, but previously only involved freshmen students.
The report card conferences were the idea of promotion coach Donna Dickson, who primarily works with incoming freshmen at MHS to support the transition process that many students struggle with as they adapt to the academic, social, and responsibility demands of high school. The report card conferences provided an opportunity for freshman students to meet with a mentor throughout the school year, have discussions about their grades and receive support and motivation from their mentors, regardless of whether they had great grades or plenty of room for improvement.
“The conferences were a tremendous success, as ninth grade students responded well to the relationships they built with their mentors,” said Principal Wesley Hester.
Because the program was such a success, Dickson and Hester are pursuing a higher level of success this school year by holding report card conferences for all grade levels. Last week, this plan became a reality as all students at MHS had the opportunity to meet with a mentor during a report card conference held their for their respective grade level.
Both students and mentors were appreciative of the opportunities to meet one another and to have conversations about what truly matters – the stories behind the grades, the pathway for greater achievements, and a shared expectation for continuous improvement and success. Whether students had all A’s or needed to improve, the focus was the same.
Hester said the participating mentors were chosen because of their connection to MHS and because of their own success and respected status in and around the Montevallo community.
“The mentors are individuals who have achieved a high level of success and our students can easily respect, appreciate, and admire them for what they have accomplished,” Hester said. “More importantly, the mentors are individuals who care a great deal about children and desire to see them succeed.”
Hester said the report card conferences are a great strategy for the Learning Supports Model that Shelby County Schools is implementing district-wide after first piloting it at MHS last year.
“Holding report card conferences across all grade levels is unprecedented in the state of Alabama and like other ideas and initiatives, I am pleased that MHS is leading the way,” said Hester. “This is just one component of how we plan to affect student success in positive ways and motivate our students to perform at higher levels.”
Hester said building strong relationship dynamics is the most important thing that occurs in any organization and one that is critical to success, regardless of whether it is a school or business, a team or a family.
“When relationships are meaningful and positive, and they are oriented in a shared vision for success, the results are powerful and can grow exponentially,” he said. “We appreciate the efforts of all the mentors who participated in this round of conferences, and we look forward to our growing partnerships with them in the coming months and years as they continue to work with our students.”