On Monday, July 11, 2022, the Independent School District of Boise City’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a Student/Board Engagement Committee proposal. You can review the presentation here or watch the video here. They will be communicating directly with families and students about the Committee in the fall. If your high school student would like to be involved, keep your eyes and ears open!
Trustees Hawes and Oppenheimer made a joint proposal to the District with the goal of giving a variety of students from all high schools direct access to the Board of Trustees and each other. The District first approached the student councils at each high school last spring for ideas on how to proceed. The student council members recognized that they do not represent the diverse viewpoints in the student body and suggested that the various school clubs and activities should be included because that gives a better representation to the numerous groups, viewpoints and interests of the student bodies at each high school.
The students will learn about the Board’s role and responsibilities; how the Board works with the District; provide input on policy, student learning and culture; and learn how Board decisions are made. The Committee will have a clear set of procedures and bylaws and an open and transparent selection process.
Based on past and current District and Board behavior showing an obvious lack of transparency, communication and stakeholder involvement and input, we’re not convinced they will follow through on these promises. We are concerned that the District will limit involvement to students holding similar viewpoints, but we’re cautiously optimistic that the promises are genuine.
We think this is a great opportunity for the students, District administration and Board to engage and work together to shape the future of the District. This is also a great opportunity for the students to learn more about how the District and Board of Trustees operate and how important decisions and policy are made. We are also happy to hear that students want various peers included, even those with whom they may not agree or have common interest. A key piece to this student advisory committee is creating a team with mixtures of opinion who are willing to engage and collaborate.
The District plans to start communicating with families and students this fall. If your high schooler would be interested in participating, please start talking about this now and keep your eyes out for the District or school communication. Students are major stakeholders in our community and should be participants in shaping their education.