Wise Seeks Student Input to Improve the School Environment
This school year has brought about many policy changes for the school, with mixed reactions from students. These changes have led to tension between students, teachers and administrators. To help combat this, Principal Sherry Wise has begun the creation of the Student Advisory Committee, or SAC.
The planning for this committee began before the pandemic, but had to be pushed back while our school navigated protocols, regulations and mandates. Now that the school is starting to get back on its feet, the creation of this committee has become a priority.
For the first stage of this process, Wise sent the teachers a form to fill out. On this form, they could nominate students to be on the committee as well as what activities those students are involved in. The activities are important because they share student involvement, which can lead to a more diverse group of students.
“I want a diverse cross-section of everybody. I want the kid who is the athlete, the kid who
is the valedictorian, the ICC kid, the student who is not one of those top kids in the class. I want Paoli to be a school where everybody feels like they’re on an equal playing field, and everybody has a voice in what happens,” said Wise.
After students are nominated by the teachers, the recommendations go to the school FLI committee, a select group of teachers that focus on leadership and policy issues that may impact the school. Once selected, the students will meet with Wise about once a month to discuss school events and concerns.
Rather than just complain about issues, the goal is to introduce solutions or to establish an understanding on why things happened.
“My philosophy is that we can’t change what’s happened in the past, we have to look at solutions. I’m going to really work on making it a solutions based committee. If it’s a student centered community where [the students] have some ownership in what’s happening, [they are] more likely to be successful,” said Wise.
Story by Michael Hannon