Superintendent meets with Student Advisory Council

Students discuss school calendar, start times

Senior+Jordyn+Turek+and+sophomore+Amal+Abdi+attend+the+District+Student+Advisory+Council+held+Jan.+16.

Tennam Gyaldatsang

Senior Jordyn Turek and sophomore Amal Abdi attend the District Student Advisory Council held Jan. 16.

Ryan Barnett

After attending Superintendent Astein Osei’s District Student Advisory Council meeting Jan. 16, senior Jordyn Turek said she was happy with the outcome of the discussion.

“The meeting went really well. We always have a lot to talk about and discuss,” Turek said. “Mr. Osei is really good at going in-depth and answering all of our questions.”

According to Osei, the meeting was centered around addressing questions about the school calendar because of students’ mixed feelings regarding vacation times.

“I wanted them to have a clear understanding of where winter break fell in the calendar and how it was impacted by other days off throughout the school,” Osei said. “I just tried to help them understand what was happening with the calendar, and then hear their preference on different vacation times that were scheduled throughout the year.”

Junior Rahwa Berhane said the meeting discussed issues surrounding the entire school district, not just the high school.

“A big part was what we need to change mostly in the middle school — school lunches, start times, and I felt like a big portion was scheduling,” Berhane said.

According to Turek, a large portion of the meeting involved discussing start times, as many students had concerns about the new start times being implemented in the upcoming school year.

“Everybody was really concerned about (start times) and had a lot of questions just because that is such a drastic change,” Turek said. “We’ve been asking about that for a few meetings now, especially in previous years, so that was definitely a large topic.”

Osei said he likes speaking to students because of the meaningful additions they bring to conversations.

“It’s really helpful to hear the voice and perspective of students,” Osei said. “They offer some good feedback, I thought that they were mindful of the needs of others.

They were really honest about what worked best for them.”

— Astein Osei

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According to Berhane, she was chosen to be on the Superintendent’s District Student Advisory Council in elementary school and has been attending meetings ever since.

“They selected me in fifth grade. I’ve been here since the very start,” Berhane said.

Osei said the advisory council is made up of students of all ages and backgrounds to get a diverse set of opinions. 

“We have a wide range of students with different religious backgrounds, racial backgrounds (and) socioeconomic status background, so it really helps to kind of get a sense for what people are thinking,” Osei said. “From a K-12 standpoint, I feel like that’s pretty representative.”

According to Osei, the next meeting will focus primarily on start times, as the issue was brought up numerous times during the discussion.

“We spent maybe 30 minutes just talking about different aspects and implications of the start time change and students wanting to know (if) we have been thinking about things that they know will impact them directly,” Osei said. “I think that was great, and at our next meeting I will come back to it.”