Areas of Impact


Age Group

High school and middle school


45-60 minutes 




Print Materials

Student-Led Conference Family Letter

Self Awareness & Growth Mindset, Self-Advocacy, Collaboration & Community Skills

Writing the Family Letter is a powerful experience for students because their role leading the conference becomes real.


This document scaffolds and gives an example for students to write a letter to their family as an introduction to the Student-Led Conference portfolios.


The family letter serves as the students’ introduction to their Student-Led Conference portfolio. Its purpose is to orient the true audience of the portfolio --the family-- to the students’ accomplishments and artifacts. During the conference, younger students might opt to read directly from this letter as their introduction, while older students might simply use it as a reference to guide them in their presentation.


Remember that the family is the audience of the portfolio and so students should write with their unique family in mind. Since families come in all shapes and sizes, students should address the family members as they feel comfortable. They should also be encouraged to write in a home language if appropriate. The sample letter should be altered to reflect your students and their families. Finally, when they write the letter, students may not yet know which family members will attend the conference. Encourage them to be inclusive of everyone who might be their audience!

Related Content:

Student-Led Conference Portfolio Checklist

Student-Led Conference Work Selection Checklist

Student-Led Conference Work Reflection

Student-Led Conference Goal-Setting

Student-Led Conference Community Commitments Checklist

Student-Led Conference Community Reflection

Student-Led Conference Family Letter

Student-Led Conference Family Homework

Student-Led Conference Checklist

Fostering Student Accountability Through Student-Led Conferences by Patti Kinney

A School-Wide Approach to Student-Led Conferences:  A Practitioner's Guide by Patti Kinney, Mary Beth Munroe and Pam Sessions.

See also resources at the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE)