NIS Stories

High School Student Council - Student Advocacy in Practice

It's that time of year again...the time for the Executive Board of the High School Student Council (HSSC) to be elected and take their posts. Though class representatives are typically elected at the beginning of the school year, the executives are elected mid-year to allow Gr. 12 students the opportunity to be an executive their last year, yet be able to relinquish these duties before mock and final exam season begins. It is also helpful that they can remain mentors and provide support to the new executives.

The new executives jumped in from their first meeting to work on a campaign that will encourage students to remember COVID safety guidelines around the school. They recently met with the whole school principal for well-being to discuss student concerns about our campus policies. They were able to convince him to allow Gr. 12 students access to the usually off-limits elevators since they have a long walk from the Commons (lunchroom) back to their homerooms for lunch. (Note: NIS students currently eat in their homerooms as a part of the Campus Safety Protocol). This will cut down the time they need to grab lunch and get back to class.

They've also just played an instrumental role in helping to select the new Secondary Associate Principal. They sat in on panel sessions with the candidates, asking them pointed questions and expressing their thoughts on what kind of leader they would like in a new principal. Together with others' opinions, including administrators and parents, these students' voices and ideas will help determine the course of the high school leadership for the foreseeable future.

At NIS, the HSSC acts as a conduit for students' voices to reach the administration, and the executives regularly communicate with the current Secondary Associate Principal about their concerns. NIS benefits because that conduit exists in that the administration can get a sense of how students feel about decisions that impact them. Another role the HSSC plays is creating social opportunities for students to enjoy their high school experiences. One of the significant challenges for this spring will be how to plan for a COVID-safe Prom. Being a representative or executive provides an opportunity for students to practice listening and engaging with their fellow students to advocate for their needs. It is a great life skill to take beyond the walls of NIS and well into their futures.
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