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Students shaping school policy through new Advisory Council

Gareth Mullins, Staff Writer

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“As we plan for next year, we want your voices to be a part of that plan.”

With this fresh, forward-thinking statement from Principal Neil Lesinski, the Student Advisory Council meeting began.

After recent administrative moves such as the 1:1 Chromebook initiative and the AP class expansion, students were eager to see how these new meetings would produce more of a say in what goes on within school walls.

The council, headed by both our Principal and our Vice Principal, Mrs. Saffert, proposed a clear goal moving forward: ask students for their input when it comes to school policy and what is happening around school, setting up talking points to discuss during sessions in order to propose change.

“It was really important to me to get to know the building more by getting people in groups to come to get to know you guys more,” Mr. Lesinski said.

The first meeting, which included seven sophomores, three juniors and six seniors, was a positive experience. It covered two hot-button issues for students: scheduling and including all students into the CG community to make the school even better than it already is.

Students suggested that scheduling be improved to give more advice to freshmen so they can know all that CG has to offer more effectively. They also said there should be less of a focus on mandatory classes and more on the sixth majors and other classes that students can take instead of getting mandatory credits fulfilled.

Senior Garrett Ostlund said that there should be a better program to explain course options to freshmen. That way, when Connect Crew (formerly Link Crew) helps freshmen understand their choices, they’ll be prepared to hear it.

“We should use technology to give freshman a glimpse of the classes using videos to give them a sense about choosing classes,” Ostlund said.

Junior Oscar Cortes also said the school should do more to promote electives to freshmen early on.

“We should do the freshman tours at freshman orientation to cover electives more before they have to choose classes to make it easier for them going forward,” Cortes said.

Sophomore Liv Green said students need to be engaged in scheduling more.

“I feel that the process is too impersonal,” Green said. “If we increase the interaction in the process, I think freshman involvement would increase.”

After that conversation, the discussion shifted to how to get more people together, involved, and happy in this school.

For sophomore Jessie Hill, CG needs tweaks to student inclusion rather than an overhaul.

“I think there’s a good vibe at the school, and I think that we give a sort of tough love to the freshman,” she said. With many people agreeing with this, the conversation then moved to discussing how things should change to get more people interacting with each other.

Junior Daniel Tello said we should increase the impact that clubs have in CG. He said many clubs should be better advertised because they offer so much to the student body;

“I think the best way to integrate classes is through clubs,” Tello said. “That’s how I met all of my underclassman friends.”

The session concluded by establishing goals for each topic.

To improve scheduling, the Freshman Seminar tours outlining the classes within CG will start earlier, and teachers will interact more with students during these tours to help simplify the process of choosing classes.

To build class culture, there will be a much bigger push to integrate students through the school’s clubs and through the school having more events for students to participate in together.

All in all, with the principal being open to ideas and the vice principal writing ideas down on her computer, this new council truly does have the potential to make things change around our high school. It gives students a chance to speak their minds and potentially influence school policy.

“We want everyone to have a great day, build relationships and keep being positive,” Mr. Lesinski said. “And by doing these meetings, I feel like that would happen in the future. We definitely do care about you guys.”

Be sure to make it to the next session on March 6 to be a part of this change. The next topic is rather controversial and topical: school safety. Make your voices heard!

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Students shaping school policy through new Advisory Council