Division plans to tackle student voice concerns this fall

Wolf Creek Public Schools board of trustees created a new initiative, with the possibility of a new committee to build a "student voice."

Wolf Creek Public Schools board of trustees created a new initiative, with the possibility of a new committee aimed at building “student voice” practices within the division. The decision was made at the board’s Wednesday, June 3 meeting

Trustee Bob Huff feels students need to be encouraged and have the opportunity to speak out about issues affecting them in education.

“And I think it goes with community engagement as well,” said trustee Pam Hansen. She feels a good example of current problems is students leaving small high schools for bigger ones, leaving the small schools with even more of a problem for the remaining students. She stated no one knew what the students think of the issue because no one has asked them.

“I just think it’s important to hear what the kids have to say,” said Hansen.

Trustee Barb Walker attempted to suggest an amendment to Huff’s idea, stating the initiative should be included under student wellness, which is outlined in the board’s three year plan priorities.

However, Huff would not bend. “To me student wellness and student voice is separate.”

Trustee Donna Peterson says practice has shown students given leadership opportunities are less likely to slip through the cracks.

However, that also is not quite enough to satisfy Huff. “They might be carrying a leadership role but, to me, let’s give the students a voice.”

Starting in the fall, Huff would like to see a division committee build student voice practices within the division. “I’m not saying this should be a big expenditure, I’m just saying we should start the process.”

While it was approved and added to the division’s Alberta Education Results Report priorities, Huff does not feel it is ready for the three-year plan. “I think this is a work in progress. I think we need to get our feet wet,” he stressed.