The Calgary Catholic School District Student Advisory Council, or SAC, is intended to build community among Calgary’s Catholic high schools. Each school is represented by two to three students who meet regularly throughout the district to exchange ideas pertaining to educational and social issues, while developing their personal leadership skills.
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The SAC is a meaningful, consultative voice of the students of the Calgary Catholic School District. They are involved in diverse student voice activities on various topics chosen by the district. The SAC members…
- Work diligently to promote a positive profile of high school students
- Volunteer their time and energy through acts of service in the community
- Have opportunities to participate in fundraising and awareness campaigns within their own schools.
- Meets three times a year with district administration without Trustee representation
- Student feedback from the meetings is forwarded to the Calgary Catholic Board of Trustees
- Consists of one student each from Grade 10, 11, and 12 for each of the five high schools (three students per school) for a total of 15 students
- Students volunteer for membership on the SAC
- Students who are chosen to become the Grade 10 DSAC representative are often the students who are subsequently chosen to be the Grade 11 and 12 representative in the following years
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The Calgary Board of Education Chief Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council was a group of public high school students with representation from each of Calgary’s public high school programs. They met regularly with the district’s Chief Superintendent to discuss issues in the system and propose solutions. The council lasted approximately from 2010 to 2014.
Empowering Student Voice Program
The Student Advisory Program was part of a larger district-wide Career and Technology Studies (CTS) program instituted by the Calgary Board of Education. The program, called “Empowering Student Voice,” gave students learning opportunities, course credits, and aligned their activities in context of the Provincial Program of Studies. Of the hundreds of students in the program, 21 were selected to sit on the Chief Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council.
- Met with the Chief Superintendent at scheduled times without representation from the Board of Trustees
- The students were required to assist in the planning and hosting of Leadership Symposia for other students
The Edmonton Public Schools Student Advisory Council serves as the district’s representative group for student voice.
Each high school selects their representatives in the spring. These students carry forward and serve for a year, unless circumstances require a school to select a new council member.
These students are also responsible for selecting the student trustee.
The Alberta School Act and Regulations does not currently mandate Student Trustees to sit on boards of education in Alberta.
Edmonton: The Edmonton Board of Education created a seat for a Student Trustee that was elected to represent student voice starting in 2013. Through a District-level election process, a student is identified as the successful Student Trustee candidate. This student sits, as a non-voting member, on the Board of Trustees for a one-year term. Each high school is asked to run a selection process that will result in a single candidate coming forward to participate in the District’s election of a Student Trustee.
Alberta Student Trustees
The Alberta Minister of Education’s Student Advisory Council explores ways to improve education in Alberta, and its members act as ambassadors of Speak Out within their schools and communities. The council:
- Collects and represents the youth voice and provides advice to the Minister of Education and other education stakeholders.
- Provides the student perspective on all things related to education.
- Rallies other Alberta students to get involved, share their voice
- Takes a leadership role in the transformation of the education system in Alberta.
- Represent a diversity of voices, from students who love school to students who hate school.
Who are They?
The Minister’s Student Advisory Council consists of 28 youth between the ages of 14 and 19 years old (as of June 30 of the year in which they apply). The province has been divided into different education zones. Every attempt is made to have representation from each zone. Council members are selected based on a diversity of backgrounds, opinions and experiences.
What Do They Do?
The Minister’s Student Advisory Council is responsible for a number of tasks during their one-year term. These tasks include, but are not limited to:
- Being an ambassador of Speak Out – the Alberta Student Engagement Initiative and assisting with promotions and student recruitment for the website, Forums, Taking Action projects and Conference.
- Being an active Registered User of www.speakout.alberta.ca by participating in the polls, blogs, surveys, contests and discussion board.
- Co-creating and writing the Speak Out newsletter with the Speak Out team.
- Assisting in the planning and hosting of a student voice forum in their school or community using a tool kit provided bySpeak Out.
- Attending the Annual Speak Out Conference and assisting in the planning, delivery, recruitment and facilitation of the conference.
- Providing ongoing feedback on proposed strategies as brought forward by Alberta Education.
- Participating in Ministry meetings and provincial events where the student voice and perspective is being sought.
- Networking and building a Student Engagement Team with the support and assistance of Speak Out and school system administrators.
- Conducting a Taking Action project with their Student Engagement Team to improve their education in their school community.
- Providing ongoing feedback on Speak Out including the website, promotional products, recruitment strategies, advertising campaigns and summary reports.
- Local relationships with peers, school leaders and administrators with the support and assistance of a local mentor and/or the Student Engagement team.
A New Vision
Speak Out – the Alberta Student Engagement Initiative is working to make student engagement bigger, better and stronger. We are developing new ways to enable students to work alongside all education partners, including teachers, principals, superintendents, government staff, to help transform the education system. Through sharing their voice, students will become leaders in bringing the vision of the educated Albertan as an engaged thinker, ethical citizen with entrepreneurial spirit to reality.