The Shorewood Intermediate School Student Advisory Council is a newly formed student group, combining two leadership groups formerly in place—the Student Advisory Board and Student Council.
The main purpose of this council is to bring together a diverse group of student perspectives and ensure that the voices of every student at SIS will be heard. The members of the council hope to adjust some areas of Character and Citizenship as well, so that they can help build strong leaders and adequately prepare students for high school.
“Our vision for the council is to improve the quality of life for students at SIS,” says SIS eighth grader and Council president Rose Schnorr. “This includes creating a culture of respect and positivity and ensuring that each and every student has a voice at our school.”
To be a member of this council, students had complete an application process which included answering various questions about their own leadership qualities and clubs they are involved in, and sharing what they plan to contribute to the council. Additionally, they were asked to get three signatures of staff support and parent permission.
“It’s important for [me] to be a part of this group because it teaches us collaboration, respect and how to listen to all people,” says SIS eighth grader and Council vice president Ashlyn Woodley. “It’s also important for the school to have this council because in the past, students didn’t really get to express themselves and their learning experiences and experiences in school. This group ensures that there is student voice in the decisions being made.”
“We also want to make activities more fun for the students at SIS, so we can build a better community and better environment,” adds SIS eighth grader and the Council’s director of activities Litnell Nash. “We want to encourage more community building activities to help strengthen friendships and make new ones.”
While the Council has only held a few meetings so far, they have talked extensively about topics such as lunch room and cell phone policies, and how to better support students in areas of standardized testing and capstone projects.
“We are still in the beginning stages, but we’ve started having very productive brainstorming sessions,” says SIS special education teacher and Council staff advisor Sam Prystawik. “The Director for Equity, Sam Coleman, facilitated a leadership training for our students at one of the meetings, which was very impactful. Our goal is to have the dean of students, additional administration, and PTO members attend some our future meetings to listen to and collaborate with our students.”
The group recently presented to the Shorewood School Board at the October 22nd regular meeting, where they shared the goals and initiatives they hope to accomplish. The video of this presentation can be viewed on the website under Board of Education-> Video of Board Meetings.
“I would like to commend you all on how focused you are in working to create change” says School Board member Pablo Muirhead. “I definitely hear that you are doing the fun social activities and making sure it’s a climate that everyone can thrive in, but I especially applaud you for questioning policies that you aren’t comfortable with and making sure your voice is added.”
To learn more about the SIS Student Advisory Council, the members encourage anyone interested to attend the weekly meetings, held on Tuesdays during the lunch and guided study period (11:07am-12:20pm).
(Pictured above right: members of the Council participating in a leadership training with Director for Equity Sam Coleman)