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    Juneau's Journal Dec. 14
    Posted on 12/14/2018

    Centering Student Voice

    This past weekend, I spent my Friday evening and Saturday in the most valuable way I can imagine, surrounded by a group of young scholars in grades 9-12 who comprise the superintendent’s Student Advisory Board (SAB).

    SAB is tasked with exploring issues that affect students across Seattle Public Schools, articulating their vision for public education, and acting as liaisons between students, school staff, district administration, and community.

    Each student at the table this weekend was there to better the school district and showed up ready to create positive change. Students representing each high school from across the district shared their feelings and thoughts about a number of issues, of which they each hold unique expertise.

    Topics included youth voting, special education services, Native American history, health education, teacher-student relationships, diversity in advanced programs, and a desire for representation. After a day of building relationships and learning, new SAB members reviewed a new district dress code policy for students and presented insightful feedback bringing their lived experience into the decision-making process. I was struck with how truly wise our students are and just how much adults need to learn from these leaders. The conversation gave me great hope that our collective future will be bright under their watch.

    I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our friends at City Year Seattle/King County for facilitating such an impactful experience for the students and myself. I’d also like to thank the young people who gifted their time to come together during their weekend to collaborate and create change together – helping us build a better today and tomorrow for all students.

    I urge you to meet the members of the Student Advisory Board, as they are truly some of the most amazing people I have had the pleasure to work alongside. I look forward to partnering with SAB to center the voices of our district’s most important stakeholders, our students.

    School Visit Highlights

    This week’s tour led me to Cleveland STEM High, Van Asselt Elementary, and Maple Elementary.

    Cleveland STEM High School

    Superintendent Juneau poses for photo with studentsDuring my time at Cleveland, I learned about the school’s intentional practice of hiring diverse staff from within their school community, evidenced by the fact that one in three classroom teachers is an educator of color. This was one of the key requests from students across the district during my Listen and Learn Tour. At the home of the Eagles, where students receive personalized learning, senior Jaida led the tour, and shared how well she felt prepared for college and life as she transitions out of high school.

    Hats off to Cleveland for an outstanding graduation rate of 95.8 percent!

    Van Asselt Elementary School

    Superintendent Juneau and teacher pose for a photoOne of the key takeaways from my visit to Van Asselt was the tremendous amount of dedication among educators to improve their instructional practice. Leveraging the expertise in their school buildings, they seek to grow and learn from their peers, holding up students as the center of focus.

    Maple Elementary School

    At Maple I was guided by Principal Sanchez, who I learned began her education career at the very same school as a student teacher. Within the open concept school, I was delighted to travel in and out of classrooms observing students guiding their own learning, receiving individualized supports, and working collaboratively with their peers. Superintended Juneau and kids pose for a photo

    Corny joke of the week: What did Neptune say to Saturn? Give me a ring sometime!

    (This week's joke was generously contributed by Maple 3rd grade student Camille)