For many years, the St. Paul Open School in St. Paul, Minnesota, has started the school year with an opening conference. At this conference, the award-winning, public K-12 school connects each student and parent/guardian with an advisor from the school. The opening conference allows families and educators to begin developing a close working relationship and to start the year on a positive note. It also helps clarify mutual expectations.
The following issues are discussed at the opening conference:
Boyer (1995) recommends that every elementary school gather this type of information in a "student inventory" for every child. This inventory would contain "a list of favorite books, toys, and songs, as well as the child's learning milestones, speech development, and early attempts at drawing and writing" (p. 61-62).