Tools for Listening to Student Voice

[vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”on” parallax_image=”” printtext=”Most Wanted Design Options ignores this CSS settings if used” background_style=”transparent” contentcolorclass=”darkonlight” background_color=”rgba(255,255,255,1)” rowimage=”” mp4=”” webm=”” videoaspectratio=”800:450″ posterimage=”” parfactor=”5″ overlay=”on” overlay_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0.5)” noise=”off” toppadding=”0″ bottompadding=”0″ anchorid=”” anchoroffset=”” hidemobile=”” visiblemobile=”” centermobile=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text css_animation=””]There are an increasing number of tools available for classroom teachers, building administrators, program directors and others who want to simply listen to student voice. Following are some of them. Please share your tool in the comments section below.

  • Turn up the volume: The Students Speak Toolkit By Roberts and Kay (2002) Partnership for Kentucky Schools.
  • Listening to Student Voices: A Self-Study Toolkit By North West Regional Educational Lab (2001).
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HumanLinks Student Voice Program

SoundOut SpeakOut Conference 2005 in Bothell, Washington

From 2004 to 2008, SoundOut contracted with the HumanLinks Foundation, a small family foundation in north Seattle, to develop foundation goals, knowledge, and activities to support meaningful student involvement throughout education.

We assisted in the development and implementation of an activity-oriented approach towards meaningful student involvement. Activities included the development of a strategic plan, ongoing consultation, project development and management, and evaluation. Specific activities included supporting New Horizons for Learning’s student voice initiative, a Seattle Public Schools high school student project, and activities in local schools.

Resources developed include soundout.org, the Meaningful Student Involvement Guide to Inclusive School Change, Stories of Meaningful Student Involvement, Meaningful Student Involvement Research Guide, the Meaningful Student Involvement Resource Guide, and the SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum.

 

SoundOut School Improvement Planning Project

SoundOut worked with a number of partner agencies, schools, and the state education agency to facilitate the SoundOut School Improvement Planning Pilot Project. Elementary, middle, and high schools across Washington State joined in student voice training, programs, and evaluations regarding the role of students in formal school improvement activities.

From 2003 to 2006, SoundOut worked in elementary, middle, and high schools across Washington State to facilitate training, programs, and evaluations regarding the role of students in formal school improvement activities. We created professional development, student training, whole-school forums, and systemic evaluations of student voice and meaningful student involvement. Funding was provided by the HumanLinks Foundation, with additional support from Yakima Public Schools, and the Center for Bridging the Digital Divide.

Pilot Schools

  • Lewis and Clark Middle School (Yakima, WA) SoundOut facilitated a school improvement planning process for 35 traditional and nontraditional student leaders, 10 teachers, and several administrators focused integrating student voice in school improvement. The 750 students in this urban school all participated in a student co-designed survey. Afterwards, students analyzed the data, identified their priorities, and presented information to building and district leaders.
  • Ridgeview Elementary School (Yakima, WA) SoundOut facilitated a school improvement planning process for 25 students and 5 teacher-partners. Participants completed training on student voice and co-designed a survey with their school improvement facilitator. Afterwards, they created action plans that will sustain an annual student team focused on school improvement in their building.
  • Spanaway Elementary School (Bothell, WA) SoundOut facilitated several training programs for students and educators at Spanaway focused on student voice and service learning.
  • Dayton High School (Dayton, WA) SoundOut facilitated training in meaningful student involvement for 20 student leaders, who then facilitated student voice forums for every student in this rural eastern Washington school. Those forums led to the creation of four action plans that were presented to the student body.
  • Friday Harbor High School (Friday Harbor, WA) SoundOut facilitated a school improvement planning process focused on meaningful student involvement in this rural island high school. School-wide forums and classes led by students brought a new commitment among students and teachers to promote student voice at the school.
  • Secondary Academy for Success (Bothell, WA) SoundOut provided training to nontraditional student leaders at this alternative high school in suburban Seattle. After facilitating a school-wide forum for 150 students on school improvement in Spring 2003, students have joined committees and made reports to the school board on how they think schools should change.

 

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Washington State Learn & Serve America

From 2002 to 2006, SoundOut’s Adam Fletcher worked with the Washington State Learn & Serve America program. He provided expert training, consultation, and evaluation for 50 schools statewide. SoundOut partnered with OSPI’s service learning coordinator to provide training and technical assistance focused on meaningful student involvement in service learning for 50+ K-12 schools across Washington. Activities included training students and educators in student voice and evaluating service learning programs in local schools. Outcomes from the project also included the creation of the Meaningful Student Involvement Idea Guide, printed by OSPI. Adam also researched and wrote the Washington Youth Voice Handbook for OSPI.

Partner Schools (sample)

  • Vashon Island Student Link Alternative School, Vashon
  • Spanaway Elementary School, Spanaway
  • Langley Middle School, Langley
  • Evergreen High School, Vancouver
  • Lewis and Clark High School, Spokane

 

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Service Learning Seattle Student Voice Outreach

logo SLSSoundOut has contracted with Seattle Public Schools several times to support student voice in equity and race relations as well as service learning. Our activities have included project planning, program design and delivery, evaluation, writing, training, technical assistance, speaking, and professional development services.

In a variety of ways, SoundOut has been involved with the district’s Service Learning Seattle program since 2001. SoundOut Founding Director Adam Fletcher has been an advisor and spoke at several of the annual symposia hosted by the program.

From 2010 through 2015, SoundOut consulted Service Learning Seattle’s Youth Engagement Zone. In this capacity, we have provided program design, facilitation, evaluation, strategic planning, and freelance writing services. Our activities have included:

  • Advising the district service learning program affecting app. 40,000 K-12 students.
  • Co-creating and facilitating two ten-hour symposia on student voice for 150 attendees
  • Conceptualizing, planning, and co-facilitating a multi-year professional learning community providing 50 hours of professional development for 45 nonprofit workers focused on youth engagement.
  • Designing and managing an 80-hour summer learning program focused using student-driven technology education as part of a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum with four staff members serving 20 high school students.

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