Student voices filled the large room.
More than 160 students representing every secondary and alternate school from the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District attended the SD42 Student Voice forum at Swaneset Bay Resort & Country Club on Jan. 31.
The students, from grades 10-12, shared their stories, experiences and ideas.
“Our starting point was to visit each school and ask kids what they hoped to talk about,” explained Westview Secondary principal Kristi Blakeway, one of the event organizers. “The purpose of the forum was to give students a sincere opportunity to express their voice and offer input that the district can use to continually improve the learning experience for students.”
The all-day event included a spoken-word performance by Jonny McCrae, keynote address by SFU professor Sue Montello, interactive activities and small group roundtable discussions.
“I feel like I am being heard at this conference with the teacher sitting at my table and we’re discussing and debating things that are in the school and talking about my beliefs,” said Braiden Davis, a student from Maple Ridge Secondary. “It’s a good discussion.”
Blakeway said the feedback about the event she received from students was overwhelmingly positive. “They felt valued, respected, heard and hopeful for their future,” said Blakeway. “I loved seeing the students actively engaged, offering rich feedback. I was impressed by their confidence to speak authentically and share rich examples from their school experience.”