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Junior High School News

Student Voices Matter

Posted on: December 8, 2017
the words, student voice


THE PRINCIPAL'S CHAIR - By High School Principal, Dr. Sam Ison

The 2017-18 school year is off to a great start for me as the new principal. I have enjoyed meeting the students, staff, parents and community members over the last few months and have been warmly welcomed by so many! Thank you for accepting me into the community!

With being new, I learn by listening and communicating with the students and staff. To do that, I have created a Student Advisory comprised of students recommended by the staff. This is a time to have back and forth dialog about issues/ideas concerning the students, the building and the overall operations/climate for the school year. Since the start of the year, we had five meetings. The agendas are open ended with ideas and suggestions from students and staff. Great discussions spin from the agenda items as one idea or thought initiates another. As a result, we have already made advances with school spirit and programs currently happening. We are also addressing issue for future years such as safety & security, assemblies, programs, electives, Advance Placement courses, Internships, job shadowing and student attendance. The students feel a voice in the decision making. Even though the final decision may not be exactly what they want, their input is heard. I believe they feel valued because an answer or rationale is always given for why a decision is made. Members of the advisory are expected and encouraged to represent those who are not at the table. They are also expected to be leaders and communicators of the discussions.

I have found each student to be willing to voice his/her opinion and yet always respect other opposing opinions. That is a wonderful life skill to learn and have for the future. I do believe in participatory leadership and our students have not let me down with their knowledge of the world around them and their creativity in developing solutions. Many students have already said, “We have never been asked before and greatly appreciate it”. Also the students said they feel a more positive presence and school spirit in the building. The students stated it is because they have a voice.

I am thankful for the opportunity to work with our students and staff in developing an atmosphere of being valued, safe and an environment conducive for learning and growing.