The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

Good Idea, Not Much Follow Through

The Student Voice Council hasn’t made much progress, but that may be changing

Students have been fighting for a bigger voice in their education for years. Now they’ve got it, but is it really doing any good?

In February, the Student Voice Council was assembled. According to the Bend-La Pine School District, the initial goal of the council was to give students a voice to “share their ideas about policies and decisions” and develop connections with the Bend-La Pine School Board. The council will also give students the opportunity to understand and voice their concern on any potential changes within the school communities. Initially, the committee consisted of 20 students from the seven high schools in the district, each picked by teachers, administrators and coaches. Now, however, the council consists of only 12 students.

Four school board members came together in hopes of starting a council full of students, hoping to hear from kids at the schools in the district. 

“Sometimes we forget that our schools are for the students,” said council advisor Jackie Wilson.

Students at Summit also feel like the school board should be more mindful of students. “Students should have more of a say, [the board] needs to be more mindful of us,” said Summit senior Julia Kaisner, but is unclear on the exact intent of the council. “What even is [the Student Voice Council]? I’ve never heard of it.”

As of now, the council has held five school board meetings with different representatives from the council attending each, last week’s board meeting being the most recent. However, without much to show so far, participants are left wondering if their voice really matters. 

However, after a slow start, Wilson has high hopes for the future.

“It’s 100 percent going to continue, it’s extremely positive to have students involved,” said Wilson. “If something is going to happen that will affect the student body, it’s important that the students are involved, so [the board] has a deeper understanding of how shifts affect the students.” 

Thus far in the process, without many changes to be seen by the Summit student body, the group of students have been focused on their culture as a council and goals for the future. This year they are hoping to get more involved with the wider school community.

Though Summit has four representatives this year, the council is hoping to have more representation at every school, in order to best account for students’ wants and needs. At the moment, Caldera has no representatives and some other schools have only one representative, including Bend Tech Academy and Realms.

In order to rectify that, the council is looking for new applicants. Esi Voelz, a Summit sophomore and member of the council, is excited for the future of the council, and the changes students can make. Possible editions could include a “lunch-and-learn,” in which students would be able to go meet with representatives from their school and learn about what the council is working on as well voice their opinions on issues they are noticing.

“I think in the upcoming months, hopefully we’ll start being able to do more. We have a meeting coming up at the end of October to talk about our next steps for this year,” said Voelz.

The council is currently in the process of speaking to the board about the daily rotating first period schedule, which occurs at Summit, Bend High and Mountain View. Students on the council hope to learn more about the thought behind it, and possibly change it back to the seventh period rotating schedule. Summit students find the rotating first period schedule to be impractical due to issues finding parking when coming to school later on certain days and students with jobs have had to change their work schedule because they now get out later.

With the high hopes from the council, only time will tell if students see positive changes in the schools.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Hawkins
Sarah Hawkins, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Meet Sarah Hawkins, one-third of the Editor-In-Chief team. Hawkins has been a part of The Summit Pinnacle for three years and enjoys writing both in and out of school. When not writing, planning and editing for this class, catch Hawkins digging her cleats in on the lacrosse field. As an avid volunteer for various organizations, Hawkins is also the president of the Interact Club at Summit. Hawkins seems to always have something on her to-do list, but as procrastination is a favorite skill of hers, you can spot her with friends around town or baking a fun dessert!

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