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  • Writer's pictureChristen Parker-Yarnal

Encouraging Active Participation in School Governance

Updated: Feb 18

Encouraging Active Participation in School Governance At Miami Sudbury School, we believe in empowering students and giving them a voice in their education. Our nontraditional K-12 democracy allows children ages 5-18 to actively participate in running the school. We prioritize personal growth and self-direction over forced academics, creating a unique learning environment where students have the opportunity to learn about themselves and achieve their goals. One of the key aspects of our school is encouraging active participation in school governance, giving young people the opportunity to have a say in decision-making processes. Why is active participation in school governance important? Active participation in school governance is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it helps students develop important life skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. By actively participating in the decision-making processes of the school, students learn how to analyze different perspectives, weigh the pros and cons, and make informed choices. These skills are invaluable and will serve them well in their future endeavors. Secondly, active participation in school governance fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among students. When they have a say in the decisions that affect their education and school community, they feel a sense of belonging and are more likely to take ownership of their learning. This leads to increased motivation and engagement, as students feel invested in their education and school environment. Lastly, active participation in school governance promotes a democratic culture and prepares students for active citizenship in society. By experiencing democracy firsthand within the school setting, students learn the importance of respecting diverse opinions, collaborating with others, and advocating for their rights. These skills are essential for active participation in a democratic society and contribute to the development of responsible and engaged citizens. How can students actively participate in school governance? There are several ways in which students can actively participate in school governance at Miami Sudbury School: 1. School Meetings: We hold regular school meetings where students and staff come together to discuss and make decisions about various aspects of school life. Students have an equal voice in these meetings and can propose ideas, express concerns, and vote on important matters. 2. Restorative Justice Committee: If there are any concerns about community policies or agreements being broken or interpersonal issues that need to be dealt with, the RJC meets to engage in dialogue and problem solving together, often resembling a mediation. Effective interpersonal relating is something that is too often absent in a teacher-directed classroom and essential to practice daily.


3. Committees: Students can join committees that focus on specific areas of school governance, such as curriculum, discipline, or community outreach. These committees allow students to delve deeper into specific issues and contribute their ideas and expertise. At Miami Sudbury School, we believe that active participation in school governance is essential for empowering students and creating a democratic learning environment. By giving young people a voice in decision-making processes, we foster their personal growth, develop important life skills, and prepare them for active citizenship in society.


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