1250 School Board Student Members
Partial Policy Suspension for November 1, 2022 through July 31,
On October 26, 2022, the Seattle School Board voted to suspend the requirement
for standing committees under Board Policy No. 1240, with limited exceptions
outlined in that policy, until July 31, 2023.
Portions of this policy suspended are as indicated with strikeouts. During this
partial suspension of this policy, the following will be in effect:
School Board Student Members Policy
The Seattle School Board believes students possess valuable insight and should
have a paramount voice in the education received from the district and in the
decisions made by the Board. Inspired by the Angela Davis quote that “Walls
turned sideways are bridges,” the Board recognizes the organizational structure
of the district can create a wall between decision makers and the students the
district serves. To address this and cultivate active communication and
cooperative relationships with students in the decision-making of the district, the
Board will annually seat school board student members to represent student
Board Committees and regular Board meetings. School board
student members will contribute to Board discussion by providing student insight
and perspective, advocating their positions on district issues or needs, and
serving as a liaison between the Board and students. Student school board
members will not attend executive sessions or closed sessions, make or second
motions, vote, or hold Board offices.
Number of Positions
The Board will select three, five, or seven school board student members each year. Recognizing the impressive diversity of the district, the goal that the district’s diversity is represented amongst the students selected, and the ultimate goal for these students to have a meaningful impact on the work of the Board, the final number of three, five, or seven will be evaluated each year by the Board after the first year of adoption to determine the number of school board student members most conducive to achieving these goals. In the first year of adoption, the 2021-22 school year, the Board will select three school board student members.
If there are three school board student members, they will be divided among the Audit & Finance; Student Services, Curriculum & Instruction; and Operations Committees. School board student members will also be encouraged to attend meetings of the Executive Committee when an item on the committee’s agenda is of interest. If there are five school board student members, they will be divided among the Audit & Finance; Student Services, Curriculum & Instruction; and Operations Committees. No more than two students will be assigned to each committee. School board student members will also be encouraged to attend meetings of the Executive Committee when an item on the committee’s agenda is of interest. If there are seven school board student members, they will be divided among the Audit & Finance; Student Services, Curriculum & Instruction; Operations, and Executive Committees. No more than two students will be assigned to each committee. The Board President will determine committee assignments based on individual student interest.
The Board will select the school board student members each year at a public meeting held in the spring and the students selected will serve the following school year. Eligible students will be required to submit an application and personal statement to apply. The selection process will include input from a diverse range of community members and groups that, as a whole, are representative of, and include, the students of the district.
Term of Office
Each school board student member will serve a one-year term beginning August 1 and concluding July 31. Students may apply to serve a second term if desired, if still enrolled in Seattle Public Schools. After new school board student members are selected, they will receive an orientation provided by the Superintendent or their designee, a Board director, and the staff person assigned to oversee the school board student members.
Applicants must be a Seattle Public Schools student and entering their junior or senior year of high school at the time of selection and continue to be enrolled in Seattle Public Schools for the duration of their term. Exception will be made for students graduating at the end of the school year during which they served as a school board student member, so they may complete the final months of their term. School board student members should reflect the impressive diversity of the district and represent a variety of interests, perspectives, and backgrounds. School board student members should also possess an awareness of challenges and barriers that they or others experience in education and in society. Additional qualifications may be required in the accompanying procedure.
School board student members:
Each school board student member will be assigned to a Board Committee based upon their respective interests. School board student members are expected to attend each meeting of their committee. Student members are encouraged to utilize course credit, service hour, independent study, free periods, or other opportunities to modify their class schedule to accommodate committee meeting attendance. School board student members will participate in committee discussions and are welcome to question and communicate their opinions, suggestions, and concerns.
School board student members will attend the regular meetings of the Board of Directors in rotation, to be determined in the accompanying procedure, such that individual student members are not required to attend every regular meeting of the Board. Student member comments will be a standing regular meeting agenda item providing opportunity for members to report on
the work of their committee, offer their opinions on the motions and resolutions before the Board, and communicate other topics of student interest or concern.
School board student members are encouraged to attend Board work sessions and other special meetings of the Board.
School board student members will have access to all assigned board committee, work session, and regular board meeting agendas, materials, and minutes to review in preparation for their attendance and participation.
School Board Directors:
The Board Directors should maintain professional working relationships with each of the school board student members. The chair of the committee to which a school board student member is assigned shall act as the Board Director mentor for the student member(s) on their committee. Other Board Directors are expected to engage with and provide guidance to the school board student members assigned to their Board Committee(s). Board Directors other than the committee chairs may serve as the official mentor for a school board student member if they wish. Board Directors are expected to consider the opinions of school board student members before making decisions on district matters.
School board student members may be removed from their position for not meeting the obligations under this policy. The process for deliberation and decision-making will be determined in the accompanying procedure, and must provide student members authority to recommend and decide on removal.
Mid-year vacancies will be filled using a selection process similar to that used to select student members during the regular cycle. The timeline and process may be modified or shortened to meet the needs of the School Board in filling the vacancy.