SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum

This is the promotional flyer for the SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum by Adam F.C. Fletcher.

The SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum is the only program written for educators to actually engage students as partners to transform our schools.

SoundOut can empower students to improve learning, teaching, and leadership better throughout K-12 schools today!

SoundOut founding director Adam F.C. Fletcher wrote and piloted this curriculum to teach middle and high school students how to change schools. Based on his work with more than 300 schools across the country, this program shows educators how to build student voice in their schools today.


  • Eight unique modules
  • 200 hours of classroom instruction
  • 24 detailed, practical lesson plans
  • Designed in actual classes with real students
  • Shows students how to…
    • Research schools
    • Plan learning
    • Teach classes
    • Evaluate themselves and their teachers
    • Make systemic decisions, and;
    • Advocate for school improvement

Engaging, hands-on activities are punctuated with fun worksheets, and with a comprehensive teacher’s guide, there are no questions left unanswered. There are also planning guides, assessment tools, and more included.

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SoundOut Tools

Impacts of Students on School Boards

For more than 20 years, SoundOut has been studying the roles of students on school boards. Based on our own experiences and on research about the practice, we have found many impacts from this type of Meaningful Student Involvement.

Impacts affect primarily four different audiences. Students on school boards can affect the student representative themselves; adult school board members; students throughout the affected education system, and; the larger communities that the schools serve.

Following are some of the impacts of students on school boards. These are drawn from the first significant research on the impacts students have on adults and organizations when they are involved in significant decision-making roles, as well as decades of research from education researchers.

Impacts on Student Members of School Boards: Students on school boards can impact the student representative members.

  • Meaningful Student Involvement in school board decision-making “provides them with the essential opportunities and supports (i.e. challenge, relevancy, voice, cause-based action, skill-building, adult structure, and affirmation) that are consistently shown to help young people achieve mastery, compassion, and health.”

Impacts on Adult Members of School Boards: Students on school boards can impact adult school board members.

  1. Adults experience the competence of students first-hand, and can perceive
    students as legitimate, crucial contributors to education system decision-making
  2. Working with students serves to enhance the commitment and energy of adults to K-12 schools.
  3. Adults feel more effective and more confident in working with and relating to students.
  4. Adults can grow to understand the needs and concerns of students, and become more attuned to K-12 school issues, making them more likely to reach outside the
    school board and share their new knowledge and insights with the broader community. They can gain a stronger sense of education community connectedness.

Impacts on School Boards: Students on school boards can impact students throughout the affected education system.

  1. The principles and practices of Meaningful Student Involvement can become embedded within the culture of the education system.
  2. Most school boards find that students can help clarify and bring focus to the board’s mission, and some boards make this a formal role of students.
  3. The adults and the school board as a whole can become more connected and responsive to students throughout K-12 schools. This investment and energy can lead to school improvement.
  4. School boards place a greater value on inclusivity and diversity. They can come to see that their decision-making benefits when multiple and diverse student voices are included in school boards.
  5. Having students meaningfully involved as decision-makers can help convince voters, state agencies, and other funding sources that the school board is serious about promoting student success for every learner.
  6. Including students in decision-making can lead school boards to reach out to communities in more diverse and effective ways including community advocacy, policy-making, and direct service.

Impacts on K-12 Schools: Students on school boards can impact the larger educational communities that the school boards serve, including every K-12 school within their districts.

  1. The culture of schools can reflect Meaningful Student Involvement more substantively.
  2. The likelihood of students in elementary, middle and high schools of all academic achievement levels being meaningfully involved increases substantially, allowing more students to experience the benefits.
  3. Classroom teachers, school counselors, building administrators and other educators are more likely to experience the impacts of Meaningful Student Involvement in their roles.

You can see our sources at the end of this page. To find more information, visit our pages about our projects. For more information, contact us »

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Students on School Boards Toolkit

Students on School Boards in Canada


SoundOut Tools

SoundOut Tools

Working with K-12 students, educators, administrators and community partners across the United States and around the world, SoundOut has created many tools throughout the years. Following are some of them.

We offer training, tools and technical assistance to support each of these tools. Contact us for details »

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Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Schools

Meaningful Student Involvement relies on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion throughout education. Focused on engaging every student in every grade in every school everywhere, all of the time, students of color, low-income students, LGBTTQQI students, low-achieving, under-resourced and all historically disengaged learners should have opportunities for meaningful involvement.

Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, or JEDI, is the framework for how SoundOut builds schools, cultivate educational leaders, and makes education a force for good. In all of our practices, SoundOut stands against all forms of oppression, including racism, transphobia, classism, sexism, and xenophobia.

Our JEDI framework is based on work by the University of North Carolina, as well as the work of Paulo Freire, bell hooks, and others.

“To glorify democracy and to silence the people is a farce; to discourse on humanism and to negate people is a lie.”

― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

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Student Voice in Arkansas

Arkansas is a fertile space for growing student voice. Here are some tools related to the state.

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Student Voice in Arizona

There are several different mechanisms for student voice on the state, district, and local building levels in Arizona.

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Student Voice in Alaska

Student voice in Alaska has long roots that have deeply affected the state, it’s education systems, and much more.

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Student Voice in Alabama

There are laws, activities and other forms of student voice happening in Alabama. Do you have an example? Share it in the comment section below!

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State Education Agencies

Massachusetts State Student Advisory Council

The Massachusetts State Student Advisory Council (MSSAC) is a group of students elected by their peers from schools throughout Massachusetts who are helping make decisions about state educational policy and student rights. These students are initiating and carrying through projects to make changes in local schools.

  • SSAC is composed of five Regional Councils and the State Council. According to state mandate, every secondary school must elect two delegates to a Regional SAC. Each Regional Council elects eight (Greater Boston elects twelve) members to the State SAC. The State SAC has its own projects, but also helps coordinate those of the Regional SACs. The SSAC serves as a communication network to share educational information among all students.
  • The student Chairperson of the State SAC serves as a full voting member of the Massachusetts Board of Education.
  • The chairperson represents the needs and the ideas of all students in Massachusetts and is a communication link from the Board to the SSAC. To facilitate education, students must be thought of as participants in, not merely recipients of, the educational process.

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Elsewhere Online

Articles Examples

U.S. Office of Students and Youth

The Office of Students and Youth is a former program of the United States Office of Education, now known as the United States Department of Education. Launched in 1969, the first leader of the office was Toby Moffet.


the office was created for several reasons:

  • To seek technical and financial assistance for innovative student-run programs
  • Keep USOE tuned in to students, and
  • Present a national overview of school tensions and ways of dealing with them
  • Run the Student Information Center in Washington, D.C., staffed mainly by local students, the center collects information on innovations in public high schools, especially those started by students; student rights; and participation in governance.

The Student Information Center also established a clearinghouse of information on secondary school issues, especially student-initiated reforms.


  • Moffett, A.J., Jr. (May 1970) “Youth Gets a Voice in New Student Center,” Nation’s Schools, 85(5). pp. 57-59.

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United States Student Voice Directory

United States Student Voice Directory

The following is a directory of student voice activities across the United States. Select a state to see a listing of different activities happening there, including school boards, K-12 schools, community organizations and more!


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