By Luis De La Torre
Have you ever wanted to get involved on campus to make change in your community? There are many different paths students can take to influence the school’s functionality and positively affect their educational experience.
For example, attending Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) meetings is a good way to get involved. At these meetings students can voice their opinions and parents can support their children and gain a better understanding of the school. The PTSA provides programs and resources for families and communities. By becoming a members in the PTSA, students have the chance to speak and vote equally with parents, staff, and community leaders about those programs and resources.
There are also six different committees in charge of different sections of the school’s functionality.
The Curriculum and Instruction Committee is in charge of developing educational strategies and technology. Students can improve their own classroom experience and make suggestions for new technology to be used in their education through this committee.
The Operations committee is focused on but not limited to new construction, planning improvements, scheduling matters, and policies. Students should be involved in this committee for new facilities they want to be available or to address inefficiencies in the current facilities function.
School safety, attendance, security, and student needs are addressed by the Student Service committee. To discuss the needs of students that are not being met or concerns for their well being on campus students should attend these meetings. All parents, staff, and students are welcomed to attend the Parent Advisory/ Title IX committee (PAC). The goal of PAC is to increase communication, support the learning environment, and provide an opportunity for all parents to be involved. Students are encouraged to attend with their parents to make recommendations on current issues and the schools performance, and to get volunteer opportunities.
The English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) consists of parents, staff, and community members. They review school performance and committee members advise school officials on English Learner programs.
For involvement in the development of the school performance and how budgets are managed, there is the School Site Council. A student representative is elected from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes to represent the best interests of their peers in their cohort. I have been fortunate enough to be elected as the senior representative for this school year. I am given data of the school’s performance, then I speak with the council to make the best choices for the school and community. For instance we recently set up new systems that support students to perform better academically and we are discussing bringing cultural studies to GHCHS.
When more students and parents are involved in these committees, they can leave a deeper lasting impact on their own educational experience. All the school contacts and committee schedules can be found on the school website. For students and parents, there are also forms for some of these committees to propose their own ideas.
Once the committees vote, the suggested proposals move forward to the Governing Board to be approved. The Governing Board makes the final decision on school policies, curriculum, and proposals. By filling out a form students and parents can give a presentation and speak to the governing board.
There is a plethora of ways in which students, parents, and the community can be involved. It is important that these opportunities are taken advantage of to influence improvement across campus.
“We care so much because school is for the students, and being students, we demand to be heard,” Eaves said.