Rationale for Students on School Boards

This is the SoundOut Students On School Boards Toolkit by Adam Fletcher. It includes research, examples and more. SoundOut offers professional development and training! For more information contact us.

What difference can it make if students are on school boards? There are a lot of reasons to have students on school boards. This article summarizes some of the research supporting students on school boards!

Reasons for Students on School Boards

  • Academic Achievement. Meaningfully involving students on school boards can ensure student engagement, which raises academic achievement.
  • Respect. Students have valid opinions, knowledge, ideas, and experiences that school boards can benefit from.
  • Authenticity. Having students on school boards can help ensure that adults know what is actually happening in schools right now.
  • Justice. “Anything about us without us is not for us.” Schools can put democracy into action with students on school boards.
  • Real LearningEngaging students on school boards may be one of the most powerful ways to teach students about democracy in society.
  • Better TeachingStudent involvement throughout the leadership process of schools can show teachers school boards are committed to teaching and the sustainability of school.
  • Effective School ImprovementEngaging students on school boards can significantly improve the effectiveness of school improvement measures in school.
  • Youth DevelopmentStudents can become more effective learners when they are engaged on school boards, and in processes of decision-making affecting them throughout their lives.
  • School Culture.The attitudes, policies, and structures of schools may change when students are on school boards.
  • Embracing DiversityEmbracing a diversity of perspectives can make student voice the most significant tool in the school leadership toolbox.
  • The “Bottom Line”.Students on school boards can help schools save money while meeting the rigorous demands facing public education systems.
  • IntegrityEducators and school leaders have an ethical responsibility to engage students as partners throughout education, particularly in the decision-making that affects them every single day.

MAYBE the most important factor to engaging students on school boards is that it just feels right. Voters, teachers, administrators, parents, board members, businesspeople, higher education… Each of these has a stake in school board decision-making. Students have a major stake, too, and it is time to acknowledge it.

Students on School Boards Toolkit

Students on School Boards in Canada

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Elsewhere Online

School Boards of the Future by Adam Fletcher

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