The Wolves Student Council
“When are we going to meet again?” Students at Chief Dan George Middle school are always eager to participate in our bi-monthly student councils. We have made it our mission to prioritize student voice by taking the time to listen and act on their thoughts and ideas.
Our Student Council gives students a chance to share their ideas, opinions, and values to drive change within our school community. It means taking the time with our students to reflect on how and why we do things in the school. The council has become a bridge of communication between students and staff. According to Sophia, “the school is already really good, but there’s always room for improvement and our council helps let the staff know what they could improve or change to make it even better.” Once a month we meet with a representative from each division and lead circle talks or small group discussions.
In our first meeting, we discussed their picture of an “ideal school” and areas of improvement within our school. Students were quick to discuss the state of our washrooms and suggested a bigger garbage can to catch all the paper towels. We acted right away and noticed a significant difference in the cleanliness of our washrooms. Mission accomplished!
At our next meeting, we looked at our school plan and asked students to work in small groups and explain to us what each part of our plan looks like, sounds like, and feels like. This activity gave us a great perspective on our school plan in the eyes of our students. They were able to gain clarity on our goals and then bring the discussion back to their classrooms.
Our most recent council focused on student to adult connection, student to student connection and belonging. We looked at results from the MDI survey and the discussions were heated. Students concluded that we focus heavily on inclusion and relationships in grade 6 and 7 and reported we “do a good job”. However, according to Avery, “grade 8 everyone already has their group and if you don’t have one, you feel like you don’t belong. We do less inclusive activities in grade 8 and that’s when we need them.”
After every meeting, we walk away with so much insight and ideas to share with our staff at our staff meetings. We present a summary video montage of student’s discussion points, thoughts, and solutions to then facilitate reflective discussions with our staff. Finally, points of action are established to help grow change within our building.
The council has allowed students to contribute to the decision-making process at the school and the opportunity to actively shape their own educational experience. Our staff looks forward to hearing what the students have to say and in the end the students would like more meeting time to discuss their ideas. What do your students have to say?
MELANIE TRUDEAU, VICE-PRINCIPAL
Chief Dan George Middle School