Students gathered at the ÉNDHS library during their lunch hour to discuss school issues with the LCSD Board. Image submitted.
It can be difficult to feel you have a voice as a student, but Lakeland Catholic School Division’s student board engagement sessions are trying to move past that fear when it comes to creating change.
On Wednesday, 25 students from École Notre Dame High School voiced spoke about some school issues to the Board of Trustees.
The students talked about parking, outdoor spaces for students (picnic tables, benches), having the two new portable classrooms attached to the school and other issues like locker space and spirit days to the board.
“This is the fifth year that we’ve done this, where we’ve had our board and senior administration meet with student groups at each of our schools,” said LCSD communications Amanda Wildman.
“It helps to familiarize the students with the role of the board versus the role of senior admin and then school administration because they have very different roles within the division. It helps to clarify that for the students.”
These student engagement sessions happen on the same days as regular board meetings.
They take the feedback the students provide and discuss if they’re feasible and can be done, while the specific school-related concerns go to the Principal and ÉNDHS administration.
“They were very frank about the things that they feel are concerns. And there was a good mixture of ages and grades in there. So I thought that was really good. It wasn’t just female or male students. There was a nice mix,” said Wildman.
After a short lunch, students were broken down into three groups.
The board then spends 10 minutes with each group to discuss the issues.
At the end of the three sessions, the students and board members came together to highlight the key takeaways and find out the next steps.
“We do two sessions at each school every year. We really are trying really hard to engage with our student community because we value the input of the kids,” said Wildman.
Their next student engagement session is at Assumption Jr./Sr. High School on Mar. 25.