Park Forest Elementary School

Elementary students are often lost in the fray when it comes to substantive student voice. Not so at Park Forest Elementary School in State College, Pennsylvania.

Through her school’s work focused on Meaningful Student Involvement, a school leader in Pennsylvania has successfully engaged students as policy-makers who are molding school culture and driving positive Student/Adult Partnerships every day. Donnan Stoicovy, the lead learner at Park Forest Elementary School, created a student-led constitution process at her school in 2012.

That year, students from kindergarten through fifth grade attended eight all-school town hall meetings focused on their ideal schools. Working with adults who had a variety of jobs, over the following six months a schoolwide constitution was created.

Adults and students received training, were guided through the process and worked together to build the democratic environment of their school. (McGarry & Stoicovy, 2014)

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