Thursday, April 17, 2008

Student Advisory Council

At this week's board meeting, I introduced a notice of motion to establish a Student Advisory Council. This will be debated at the Public Board meeting on May 13.

Here's the motion:
To establish a Student Advisory Council, which would meet directly with the Board of Trustees on a periodic basis with the intent of (a) strengthening the board's understanding of the student perspective of education and (b) encouraging civic engagement and leadership in our youth.

I feel that the student voice must be heard and that it's important that our policies and decision-making at the governance level be informed by the point-of-view of students. After all, who is more affected by our decisions than students? Who has the keenest interest in education being the best it can be?

I also feel that youth are currently sadly disengaged from the political process. Youth between the ages of 18-25 are the least represented at the polls. I've asked students why they think this is and they respond:
- none of the candidates care about me or my world
- none of them talk about anything that's interesting to me
- I can't make any difference to it...they will all just do what they want anyway

I would like to encourage youth to feel that they are indeed the future and that what they think IS important. I'd like to ask them: What kind of schools would you like to see? What can we do better? What do you dream of?

I am asking them to be a part of building the future of Edmonton Public Schools.

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