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Local Students Get Involved With District Policy

Nov 28, 2014 05:55PM ● Published by Marci Heugly

Students from Canyons School District high schools form the recently created Student Advisory Council, which will assist the Board of Education as a voice for the students. Photo courtesy of Canyons School District

Canyons School District is giving a stronger voice to its students. Two students each from Brighton, Alta, Corner Canyon, Hillcrest and Jordan are involved in the recently formed Student Advisory Council.

The 10 member student council is in its second year and is really beginning to come together. Its goal? To inform the Board of Education of the students’ thoughts on current policy and to help create new policies.

“Our real reasons for the council are twofold,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robert Dowdle said. “Number one, we want to give a voice to the students in our district. Number two, we want students to assist the board with policies that will affect students.”

Each member of the council is required to attend one board meeting and one training session each month. The training sessions are used to help students gain additional leadership skills, expose them to local politics and help them to better understand and appreciate the education process.

“The students gain leadership skills by working on their public presentation. We teach them how to deliver a message well. Nine out of 10 of them have presented to the board, mostly about the Utah College Application Week activities,” Dowdle said.

These activities took place during the week of Nov. 17, and the students reported to the board about the events at their respective schools. 

“At Brighton, we are having all the seniors come down to fill out college applications if they haven’t already,” said David Warr, Brighton student body historian and student advisory council member. “Most Utah colleges and universities waive application fees during College Application Week.”

The student body officers want to make sure every student knows how and where to apply for college. Students that have been accepted to a college or university have submitted their names and the names of their future schools to be hung in Brighton’s hallways.

“The students that show proof that they applied for college will be in a drawing to win an iPad Mini,” said Carter Brown, student body treasurer.

After College Application Week, David and Carter will turn their attention to other student issues in the district. The Board of Education will seek their input, along with the other members of the Student Advisory Council, to work on six new discipline policies that will be introduced to the district, including one on the dress code.

“We are asking input from the students about how they feel about the current dress code,” Dowdle said. The students will gather information from their classmates and bring it back to the next meeting. 

“It’s kind of a developmental process,” Dowdle said. “Last year was the beginning stages, and we are trying to figure out how to best use the students.”

As they fine tune the process, the students are learning the ins and outs of how to create and implement school policy.

“Anytime you have student input, it’s beneficial,” Dowdle said. “It’s fun to work with them; they bring a lot of enthusiasm and excitement to our meetings.”    
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