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Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together (YATST)

The mission of Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together is “…to change things from from doing things to and for students to doing things with them… that they’re partners in that process…”

Helen Beattie founded Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together, or YATST, in the mid-2000s in order to promote the “four Rs” – Rigor, Relevance, Relationships, and Responsibility. Since then, the program has worked in dozens of schools across Vermont, building a strong foundation for and modeling exactly what Meaningful Student Involvement is at it’s highest levels of implementation.

Focused on teaching about student/adult partnerships for school improvement, YATST deeply affects individual participants and whole schools. Taking students from their traditionally historic roles as passive recipients of teaching, YATST deliberately moves learners towards become active partners throughout education. Watching any one of the dozens of videos available on YouTube and scanning the beautifully comprehensive YATST website is an inspiring journey.

Using a powerful curriculum guide, YATST teaches students why schools need to change, how that happens, and other important things they need to know about the process, YATST elevates knowledge, deepens investment, and transforms perceptions of students and adults throughout education.

Helen says, “It’s deep work that deserves a core place in our schools as a part of learning, and when it is that, it has the potential for significant change.”

SoundOut highly recommends that you watch and learn about Meaningful Student Involvement from this masterful program today.

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School Boards

Students on School Boards in Vermont

Here are facts about students on school boards in Vermont.

District School Boards

  • In 1972, the Vermont state department of education reported that they encouraged local school boards to consider roles for students on school boards.
  • Students representatives attended the state board of education meetings, as well as meetings at several local districts.
  • They also reportedly advised the state commission of education.
  • Law: Today, there is no specific law in Vermont regarding students joining or voting on district school boards. Title 16, Chapter 3 of the Vermont Statutes states that the Governor of Vermont must use an application process that is “open and accessible to all eligible students” when appointing students to the State Board.
  • Students can join borders as representatives, and when they are they are usually school board presidents.
  • They serve one year terms.

State Board of Education

  • There are two student advisors to the Vermont State Board of Education
  • These two students have full voting rights.
  • The students are selected by the Governor of Vermont
  • Students are between 9th and 12th grades.
  • Student advisors terms are two years.
  • These roles have been in place since 2000.
  • The structure of these roles is secured through Title 16, Chapter 3 of the Vermont Statutes.
  • This law requires the Vermont State Board of Education to include two student members from Vermont secondary schools.
  • Students are required to have two years of high school remaining at the time of appointment and serve a two-year term.
  • The law states “The student member shall not vote during the first year and shall be a full voting member during the second year of his or her term.”
  • The Governor of Vermont appoints one student to the board each year.
  • The state board of education is currently supporting policy to require student representation on all school boards statewide.

 Vermont State School Board Association

  • Students are not formal members of the state school board association, and do not receive specific training to support their involvement.
  • The state school boards association has resisted attempts to make student representation on boards a requirement, and they oppose giving students voting status on boards.
  • The state board of education currently plans to work with the principal’s association and state school board association to support programming for student representatives on school boards.


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