This March, over a dozen Maquinna Elementary students settled in their school library to brainstorm with their friends and four Van Tech Grade 12 students on how they can improve their own school experience.
The Van Tech students had been trained earlier in October of the preceding year as part of their own student voice project and were part of the secondary school student forum that took place at the Roundhouse Community Centre in 2009.
The elementary students broke into several groups to discuss implementing a student voice at Maquinna. The two hot topics were implementing a student council and trying to curb the garbage situation on the school grounds by finding student driven ways to tidy up their playground.
The group has met three times so far. During the most recent hour of brainstorming, students munched on pizza and considered how to set up a student council: the responsibilities they would need to take on, the positions they'd need to fill, how they'd find a sponsor teacher and what "smart decisions" to prioritize first.
The Maquinna Student Voice Forum is the first of a pilot program that district staff hope to bring to other elementary schools across the district.
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