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Students take advantage of new speaking opportunities at school district meetings


Students had been capable of talk straight with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District at Monday’s Board of Education assembly, the place they shared scholar council resolutions and supplied feedback throughout a newly applied designated time for scholar testimony.

“This is exciting,” Homer High School Student Neviya Reed stated Monday. “It’s our first student representative report we’ve had on the agenda, like, as an actual item.”

Reed is the Board of Education’s scholar consultant. Under adjustments authorized by the board earlier this yr, Reed now additionally has a chosen time to provide a report back to the board about what she has been engaged on as a scholar consultant.

The board initially authorized in January the particular designation of time for scholar feedback in addition to time for Reed to provide her report and finalized the transfer in February. Students have as much as 5 minutes to deal with the board on any subject instantly after college experiences towards the start of the assembly.

Reed used her Monday report back to debrief board members on what she’s been as much as because the final board assembly.

She accompanied a handful of board members throughout a legislative fly-in to Juneau in February, together with Olivia Ferguson, who’s the coed consultant to the board’s Information Committee. Reed stated that, whereas in Juneau, she and Ferguson discovered methods to give higher public testimony, had conferences with 26 legislators and labored as visitor Senate pages.

“It was so interesting to see, like, the different places that they live and how different my school is from theirs,” Reed stated of different members of the Youth Advocacy Institute, which operates below the Alaska Association of School Boards. “It was amazing.”

Reed additionally supplied to board members Monday updates on resolutions she labored on with the Homer High School scholar council, together with one on college dances and one on recycling. Both resolutions, Reed stated throughout a board of schooling work session Monday, had been introduced to the Alaska Association of Student Councils and each handed.

Citing the usage of the planet’s sources at an “increasing and unsustainable rate” and colleges’ ranks among the many “largest waste generators in countries,” the recycling decision urges the district to implement a recycling coverage inside all Ok-12 public colleges.

KPBSD Assistant Superintendent Kari Dendurent expressed her curiosity in sitting down with Reed and Ferguson, in addition to different college students, to debate the logistics of implementing such a program, together with price estimates, with the district’s director of planning and operations, Kevin Lyon.

The college dance decision requires the reinstatement of school-sponsored dances, which have been restricted all through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“School dances help promote social and emotional health, well-being, and peer connection outside of the classroom,” the dance decision says. “Social connections and involvement in community are associated with lower teen anxiety, and depression rates.”

Olivia Ferguson took time throughout Monday’s assembly to advocate for extra college students to attend and testify at board of schooling conferences, particularly in mild of the brand new set-aside for scholar testimony.

“This is a time for us to speak,” Ferguson stated. “It’s a time to get our voices out. … If you like some of the stuff that’s going on, if you have issues that you want to voice, it’s our time to speak and our time to use our voices.”

Monday’s Board of Education assembly may be seen on the district’s media web site at media.kpbsd.k12.ak.us.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

Olivia Ferguson, who is the student representative to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education’s Information Committee speaks during a board meeting on Monday, March 14, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Olivia Ferguson, who’s the coed consultant to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education’s Information Committee speaks throughout a board assembly on Monday, March 14, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)





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