It only took an hour for a group of students to tell district leaders exactly what they think is working and not working in their public schools. From elective courses and daily schedules, to parking permits and school lunches, about twenty five students gave an honest critique of their experiences in the district as part of a Think Tank discussion.
“[The Think Tank] is good - it’s good to see that the district cares about what students think,” said Jared Taylor, a senior.
This was the third Think Tank held in the district this year, but the first time students were asked the questions. Previous Think Tanks brought together business and industry leaders, as well as public service officials, to talk about the challenges and opportunities that exist within our current education system, as well as to generate creative solutions. Read more about Think Tanks.
In this latest Think Tank, students were the experts. They were asked to reflect on their experience in the school district - from kindergarten all the way to high school - and share their feedback on how the district can improve. The first activity students participated was called “Love it or Leave it,” and asked them to list all the things they love about school as well as all of the things they would like to see leave the system. The second activity had small groups of students consider what the district should start doing, what it should stop doing, and what it should improve upon. Students were able to reflect on all of the ideas that were shared, and asked to provide their input on the things that resonated most with them.
All of the feedback gathered was collected and will be shared with district leaders as they plan for the future.
“I think it is cool the the district is trying to improve the system to match what students want it to be,” said Eliana Seagraves, a tenth grade student. “A lot of schools don’t care what students think. We already have so many opportunities at our school, but they want to know what else they can do to improve.”