Student voice is a necessary component to decision making in the Creighton School District. To help gather input, student representatives from each school within the district meet multiple times a year as part of the Creighton Kids Congress Program. Students provide input on a variety of topics from remote learning structures and formats, strategies to make learning more engaging, and teacher professional development needs. These students are chosen for their outside-of-the-box thinking, willingness to exchange ideas with peers, and their ability to approach problems creatively.
Recently, students gathered to take part in the Creighton Strategic Planning Process to help steer the creation of the next three to five years of district goals. They discussed both adventurous learning and health and wellness. Students shared strong, positive perceptions about adventurous learning and its importance. They described adventurous learning in many ways, with one student stating that, “Adventurous learning means having opportunities to express your interests and explore topics and ideas that you are passionate about.”
They also advocated for more outside activities, group projects, more class competitions, and strategy based online learning. They also expressed a desire for more field trips to learn about different communities and learn in different environments and most importantly experiencing learning that they like and enjoy.
The students also indicated that health and wellness continues to be a major need on campuses. They described their own experiences with social emotional learning and were able to describe events such as class circles, lessons on positive affirmations, and mindfulness as positive strategies. Students also shared strong prospective on scholarly discussions as well as open and respectful communication between students and adults. Another idea shared was the implementation of peer-to-peer sharing of feelings and the older students on campus acting as role models for the younger students.
Creighton Kids Congress is gearing up to participate in a four-day in-depth training for youth leaders. This will equip them to serve as leaders on their campuses to engage their teachers and peers to create more inclusive environments for learning.
The students also advised on the topic of COVID-19, providing input on strategies for effective school to home communication, mitigation practices, strategies for physical distancing and ways to communicate vaccination opportunities with the community. One of their most significant recommendations was the modification of typical school schedules to one that allows families with multiple children to be able to eat lunch at the same time together. Although this sounds like a minor adjustment, the impact was substantial in creating a remote learning environment in homes that was more conducive to the needs of families.
The Creighton Kids Congress students are seen as leaders on their campuses and continue to develop into an essential component for gathering student voice at the Creighton School District.
Eighth grader Nia Ubom shares her thoughts on the Creighton Kids Congress Program.
Caption for Nia Ubom photo: Through her participation in Creighton Kids Congress, Nia Ubom has developed confidence in sharing her opinions.
How long have you been involved in the Creighton Kids Congress Program?
2021-2022 School Year
What do you hope to accomplish by your participation in the program?
I hope that by me participating in the Creighton Kids Congress I can help provide equitable access to things like field trips, school activities, COVID mitigation, etc. I want everyone to feel like they have a voice in this district. As I speak with my fellow classmates, I update them on the things discussed in the Kids Congress meetings and encourage feedback.
What skills are you developing by being engaged in the program?
The Creighton Kids Congress has made me a better public speaker. I am more confident in my presentations and sharing my voice in front of a large audience. It has helped me articulate my thoughts and become a better leader. I feel empowered to share my ideas.