School transformation means moving places of learning from the current ways they are into wholly new ways by shifting what exists into new uses, new purposes and new outcomes. SoundOut believes in more than school reform or school improvement; we promote school transformation. 


Elements of SoundOut School Transformation

  1. Meaningful Student Involvement should be infused throughout school transformation approaches, strategies and activities.
  2. Student Engagement should be the outcome of learning, teaching and leadership.
  3. Acknowledging the broad issues students can affect throughout the entire K-12 education system is at the core of Meaningful Student Involvement.
  4. Every student in every school should be fully, wholly and 100% engaged everywhere throughout education, all of the time.
  5. The entire education system should embrace Meaningful Student Involvement in order to best infuse student/adult partnerships throughout learning, teaching and leadership.


Five Goals of SoundOut School Transformation

  1. The purpose of education stands at the heart of school transformation. If schools aren’t just simple places for transferring knowledge, what are they?
  2. Every grade in every school should experience Meaningful Student Involvement throughout all learning, teaching and leadership.
  3. Every part of school need to embed students themselves in the heart of operactions and activities, including budgeting, leadership, assessment, and other areas.
  4. Every role of every person in education needs to be thoroughly, intentionally and consistently partnered with students themselves. Administration, assessment, educators, support staff and others should be transformed.
  5. Whole schools and entire education systems should engage students as partners, everywhere and all the time.


When adults stand on either side of a school building a poke sticks at each other in the name of improving schools, they frequently lose sight of students. This is because students haven’t been engaged as partners in school transformation. Meaningful Student Involvement engages students as meaningful partners throughout various school improvement efforts, including curriculum, culture, assessment, and lifelong learning.


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Published by Adam Fletcher

Adam is the founding director of SoundOut. An author, speaker and consultant, he has worked with K-12 schools, districts, nonprofits and others for more than 15 years. Learn more about him at

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