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Superintendent Seeks Ideas From Student Advisory Council

The first meeting of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council was held Friday at Bennet Academy. The council is comprised of 30 students -- representatives from fifth grade at all nine elementary schools, as well as from Bennet, Illing and the high school.

The purpose of the council is provide a forum for student feedback and suggestions around the four MPS pillars, Collaboration, Creativity, Courage and Excellence.

“We typically ask adults how we are doing and what ideas they might have for the district,” Superintendent Matt Geary said, “but we want to provide a forum and an opportunity for students to give us input, ideas and feedback.”

This initial meeting focused on collaboration and -- as seen in the video clip on the Bennet site -- included an activity designed to highlight team building and problem-solving. The group had to devise the most effective way to work together and keep balloons (which numbered twice as many as there were people in the group) aloft for 30 seconds.

The group also worked to identify areas in which they currently collaborate with peers and teachers, and provided suggestions on additional ways they believe collaboration should occur. In addition, each mixed-aged group worked together to design a scenario in which collaboration could improve the school system.

“I was pleased with and impressed by the students’ energy, attitude and ideas,” said Geary, who noted that the next advisory council meeting would focus on creativity. “Our students are a tremendous resource but we don’t always think of them that way. I’m confident that by making sure we listen and value their voices, our entire district will benefit.”

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