Listening to the Student Voice
Who is the only member of the community NOT routinely asked for ideas and opinions about school? Since you're on this website, you've probably guessed... students. Student engagement, with students having a voice in their high school experience, is new, and extremely powerful.
At Kent ISD, this commitment to the voice of the student began as district superintendents studied new ideas for teaching and learning. Finding new methods is key to engaging all students and meeting the needs of 21st Century learners. We want to help our districts "educate students for their future, not our past." This includes preparing them for the careers and learning (beyond high school) they'll need to be successful.
So the Superintendents decided to ask students about their high school experience. We surveyed 60.7% of all the high school students within Kent ISD in the spring of 2010. And we listened!
57% of students57% of students said “Relevance? Where? To what?” Students say they don't know how their classes relate to anything.
What We've Learned
The survey and focus groups revealed some surprising results. This includes the good news that most students believe adults at school care about them. The bad news is how little relevance students find in their coursework. And through the entire survey, answers varied little when it came to school size or location. This provided a common voice in response across the region that we didn't expect.