What is Showcase Night at LMS?

A few years ago, Larned Middle School started with our 8th grade class creating a slideshow that included past school work that they completed, present grades, and future goals for the year. When families came for parent-teacher conferences, we had them stop in to share with their parents in the band room. If a parent was unable to attend, the students shared it with Mr. Sundahl a day or two later in the office.

From there Showcase Night grew into a stand alone night with a meal and invitation for students and parents to share it together here in our building. One year, we started with the showcase presentations first before a special guest speaker came in that evening to discuss mental health awareness. Finally, the Showcase Night has now taken the place of the traditional spring parent-teacher conferences that we host in February. On Monday, February 14, we welcomed nearly 81% of parents and students into our building to participate in this project. Our school staff and students had a building wide goal of 80% for event attendance, which we were able to meet. 

So what is Showcase Night? Students work during social studies or enrichment classes for weeks in advance off of a base template to create their slideshows. As stated before, it contains past work and current grades, but it goes so much deeper than that. The Showcase includes test scores for Fastbridge and shows areas for needed improvement. After studying various occupations in our character education lessons, students have the opportunity to talk about their future goals. The Xello program that we use centers on students' education and what they have for adult plans. Instead of getting some version of “nothing,” when parents ask students what they did at school, the parents truly will be able to see and discuss. Students and parents should be able to have meaningful conversations about how they can work together for the next few years of middle school and into high school to meet goals. With a strong partnership with parents and teachers working together to help their students meet goals, it allows for true growth for the kids. This grassroots approach that focuses on what a student is learning, should provide a much needed relationship between the school and families.