District Student Advisory Council in Action

Posted On Wednesday November 24, 2021

Two student representatives of the District Student Advisory Council (DSAC) told the Board of Education at its regular meeting on November 22 that their school is working to develop a list of comprehensive resources for students to access support for mental health and academics.

Emily Boone and Fyfer Brookes Gillingham are NorKam Senior Secondary students and both serve on the DSAC, which is composed of 20 student representatives from grades 8 to 12, and facilitated by Director of Instruction Rick Kienlein. The purpose of the council is to provide the Board, the Superintendent and senior administrators with what matters most to students on issues and topics of mutual importance.

Recently, Boone and Brookes Gillingham led a discussion at the district level about what students felt was going well and what could be improved within each of their schools.

“We found in our schools that there is an abundance of resources,” said Boone. “There is the accessibility for students to get mental health support, cultural support, the list goes on. But not everyone knows about them. We asked our peers, ‘what do you know that you can get at this school’ and the list was very limited.”

The fix was “pretty simple in nature” according to Brookes Gilligham: “[The solution] was to accumulate all our resources together. But not just limit them to mental health resources – include academic safe spaces and how to get proper resources at school.”

Upon hearing the students’ concerns at a Principal’s Council meeting, of which Boone and Brookes Gillingham also sit, NorKam Principal Jonathan Brady created a detailed list of all resources available to students at that school.

Fittingly, the DSAC’s theme is ‘Taking Action from Ideas’ and “that’s something that we really value,” said Boone. “We are actually turning our ideas into life, into things that will benefit ourselves, our student body, our peers, and the staff at our school.”

Noted Trustee Shelley Sim, “I appreciate your enthusiasm and your willingness to expand the lines of possibility. I have no doubt this is going to be hugely successful. In my mind, I see you creating a legacy of a resource that can impact the entire district and student body.”

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