Improving Learning: Every Student, Every Day, Every Way
In the fall, winter, and spring of each year, I meet with my superintendent’s student advisory. The student advisory consists of 18 students from 6th grade through 12th. Three students represent each grade level consisting of highly motivated, middle-of-the-roaders, and not as highly motivated. I do this to try and get a cross section of student representatives so I am not just hearing from top achievers or lower achievers. Each time I meet with the students, I have a series of questions to solicit student feedback. Here are some of the questions that guided our discussion on Wednesday, January 29th.
I ask students to share any positive or negative experiences they may have encountered from the last time we met. I ask students to share their thoughts on delays, or cancellations to date and the communication process when we encounter a delay or postponement. I also ask students for suggestions on how we can improve learning. Since we now have students setting improvement goals at multiple grade levels, I ask the students to share thoughts on whether it helps to improve their level of effort and does it improve performance? One standing question I always ask is, what would you like me to do to help you? Finally, I ask students whether they feel safe at school.
My meetings with students are one of the highlights of my job. We have a great student body and they share very honestly and openly as young adults. I always assure the students that what they share is valued and I report back to them when there is an issue the students have shared that requires me to investigate and seek clarification.
My final meeting will be in the spring. These 18 students have had a very good year to date. If that isn’t the case with your student, I encourage you to schedule a conference with the teacher immediately. If you have met with the teacher and aren’t satisfied with the progress, then the next person to contact is the building principal.
Until next month, please visit our new website and join us on Facebook for updates throughout the month!
Donald J. Wills, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools,