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A group of fifteen students were selected to be their school’s Youth Consultation representative this year, and they took on the task of gathering input into student engagement.
(Missing: Luke. M of Westcliffe Composite School)
This group of dedicated students worked very hard over the past year to gather input and feedback on how students are engaged and what can be done to help with student engagement. The students held focus groups in their respective schools, as well as conducted online focus groups with other schools who did not have a representative. The also facilitated an hour long session at the Student Leadership Conference that was held in Lucky Lake this past April. Topics of discussion surrounded; including more body and brain breaks in the day, personalized learning for students, changing or modifying the classroom environment which incorporated the actual set up and furniture in classrooms, and having choice in assignment. This group presented their findings to teachers at the division wide professional development day that was held on April 25th, 2016. The group split participants up into four groups and each group moved through the four topics as students presented their findings. The Youth Consultation group also conducted this same presentation to the Board of Education on Tuesday and the response was incredible. The group should be commended on their initiative this year and taking the lead to help contribute to a change in student engagement.
Your World of Opportunity Student Leadership Conference was held in Lucky Lake on April 15th and 16th, 2016.
Lucky Lake School was host to the ninth annual Sun West Student Leadership Conference this year and what an amazing event it was, with over 110 students attending the energy packed conference. Seventeen students in grades 8 – 12 from across the division made up Team Sun West. This group has spent the last school year planning and organizing the event. They created the theme ‘Your World of Opportunity’ and the slogan “Discover Your Seven Wonders” which was the underlying theme for the keynote presentations and breakout sessions held over the day and half event. Student leaders were engaged and the energy was endless at the event, as students explored and learned about ‘the world of opportunities’ available to them.
Students arrived in Lucky Lake Friday evening for registration, motivational games and enjoyed a delicious supper at the hall. Then they headed back to the school for the opening ceremonies and opening keynote speaker Shane Feldman. His messages and energy had students engaged and entertained, and related well to the student population as he is only 21. Elite DJ's provided exceptional music for a dance along with a photo booth and activities for the kids and many left the dance extremely excited, but very tired from dancing. Students were tweeting, and posting photos on SnapChat using a geofilter created by Team Sun West.
It was up and at em' on Saturday morning with former Saskawanderer, Ashlyn George as the opening keynote. Her message about travelling after high school to “find your world”, resonated with students, as she said you don’t have to go across the world, but travel our very own province because there are some amazing places in our own backyard.
Students then took in several breakout sessions presented by Team Sun West members and some wonderful Sun West staff. These included: “Travel Tales” by former teachers Karen Richardson and Penny Barr who have walked across Spain and shared their message that “it’s not the destination that you reach, but the journey along the way.” Caralee Halmrast got the students up and moving with Zumba sessions. Both keynote speakers also held breakout sessions, where smaller groups of students could ask more questions related to their passions. Team Sun West members also lead the “Youth Travel Opportunities” sessions. Several Team Sun West members have participated in some wonderful local and overseas leadership opportunities. Delegates learned about their experiences and how they could become involved in these opportunities as well.
The Youth Consultation Group also spent part of the day talking to groups of their peers about student engagement. These sessions had four components surrounding choice of assignment, classroom environment, body breaks and personalized learning. It was amazing to see every single student in these sessions engaged and interacting with the Youth Consultation leaders. The group also volunteered to host this same session at the division wide professional development day that was held for teachers on Monday and had amazing attendance and success. The group will also take this information that they gathered at the sessions and report to the Board of Education.
As a final session, Team Sun West led smaller groups of students in “Organized Chaos”. This was done to promote team work and was one of the highlights of the conference this year. While student attendance was down this year from previous years, it was by far, the most successful and inspiring conferences to date.
Team Sun West Promotional Video
December 15th, 2015
17 Sun West students were selected to be a part of Team Sun West this year. The group is in the beginning stages of planning the conference that will be held in Lucky Lake on April 15-16, 2016. There will be terrific speakers, food and entertainment, make sure to save the date.
Nearly 4,500 students attend schools in the Sun West School Division. In addition to regular academic and extracurricular programming, Sun West provides opportunities for students to have their voice heard on Division policies, develop and enhance their leadership abilities and prepare for post-secondary education and the work force.
Team Sun West
Between 10-14 students in grades 7 -12 from Sun West schools, apply to be part of a group called "Team Sun West." This group helps to organize, prepare and plan an annual division-wide, student led leadership conference. Team building, communication and presentation skills are developed at four meetings throughout the year and culminate in the spring when students from all over the division get together for a two day conference, complete with keynote presenters, breakout sessions led by students and entertainment.
Every year, student representatives from each Sun West school with a grades 10-11 component participate in meetings with Sun West Board of Education. At these meetings the students provide input on Sun West programming and policies.
Student Leadership Links: