Until now students have not been able to work with their teachers and other faculty members on making their school experience one that is a positive and enjoyable experience that they had a hand in planning. In previous years the public-school system has been all about testing and making sure that student reach all of the necessary benchmarks. Teachers and faculty members were the only ones who had a say in what and how things were going to be done day to day for the students.
Orchard View is working on changing just this. Mr. Simeon the curriculum director has worked closely with his staff to put a program into place to give the students of Orchard View a chance to voice their opinion how they feel they will have the best educational experience.
Today I was able to meet with McKenzie, Alexis and Mr. Simeon at the central office of Orchard View. McKenzie and Alexis took a 171-mile trip to Novi Michigan to the to the talent summit where they presented their ideas to state leaders and Govenor Rick Snyder in making Orchard View a better place to go to school. The girls told me that at first, they were intimidated and felt like no one would listen to what they had to say but they soon grew the confidence in themselves and in their ideas. As they day went on the girls were able to work with the other eight students (who were all in high school) as well as other state members and education directors on making student relationships to staff and their peers as well as the overall school day a positive experience.
Alexis and her peers came up with an idea called a "Hope Board". The idea behind a Hope board is to have students write down what they hope for. Alexis's goal is to put a board in each of the different grades halls as well as the lunch room and the main hall they all share. She will put "I Hope For" at the top and the students will have to opportunity to write down what they hope to see at or for the school, this will give the facility a chance to come and see the different ideas. This is one way they are hopping to bridge the communication gap between student and teacher.
McKenzie worked closely with other members of the student counsel to come up with the idea of an "in person group support". This is a mixture of students from sixth, seventh, and eighth grades that are coming together and learning about and supporting each other in their strengths and differences. This is also the time for the students to come together and talk about a problem that they may be having so that they can all help to come up with solutions to help them fix or make better what is going on.
Please click on the video and see what these inspiring young women have to say during our talk today. Thank you for taking time out of your day to join me on the Muskegon Channel.