Building Partnerships for School Improvement
STUDENTS ARE CENTRAL TO SCHOOL IMPROVEMENTThis belief is at the core of WCSD's Student Voice efforts. Through student voice, school improvement can take place at depth because, as partners, all members of a school collaborate and contribute to the process. Thus, staff and students take ownership of issues challenging their school and together work toward their solutions.
Tips to Partner with Adults
- Adults often feel responsible for the success or failure of a project which may make them less eager to share power; encourage them to share!
- Take on a leadership role, but YOU decide what you are able to take on while balancing school work.
- This is a collaborative effort - make sure to ask for help.
- It is OK for you and adults to disagree respectfully. Remember analysis and constructive criticism is necessary for improvement.
- Through your actions, show adults you are can contribute to the group's goals - they don't always know what to expect from students.
Tips to Partner with Students
- Work alongside students and share decision making power and leadership responsibilities - equal voice and equal vote.
- Shared leadership and responsibilities means allowing students to lead meetings, set goals, and implement those goals.
- Listen carefully - remove personal bias and assumptions when listening to students.
- Rotate leadership and facilitator roles in meetings and for tasks.
- Provide meaningful roles and assignments for students - include room for growth and advancement for experienced students.
Set Up Your School's Student Advisory Council!
Student Advisory Councils can be the collaborative and systematic format your school uses to create a better campus and educational experience for all students!HERE ARE A FEW RECOMMENDATIONS
Sources:Promoting Youth Participation, Action Kit for Municipal Leaders, National League of Cities, Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. Retrieved from: www.nlc.orgBroadening the Bounds of Youth Development: Youth as Engaged Citizens, Ford Foundation & The Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development, 2001.Youth/Adult Partnerships: Tips for Success, 4H-Volunteers, 2003. Retrieved from: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/4H-Volunteers_2003-04.pdf.
- Allow time for staff and students to get to know one another during meetings.
- Meetings should lead to action. Keep a log to determine what needs to be done, who will do it, and by when.
- Establish clear improvement goals and provide time for reflection throughout the school year to determine if you're obtaining those goals.
- Decide how often you will meet and who will be invited to the meetings. Staff and students should reflect the campus' diversity.