These are just guidelines you can adapt to the needs of your district. For instance, you may want to hold a series of conversations instead of just one. But these do represent our best guidance on connecting with students in a meaningful way so that you support your schools and the students who learn there.
- Ask the superintendent to select students in whatever manner best suits your district. Ask for the group to be a true cross-section of your school’s culture, involvement and interests.
- Invite six to 10 students so that everyone can easily participate in the conversation.
- If possible, instead of the entire school board, have students meet with just two or three board members.
- Have students invite another caring adult to come along with them—for instance, a teacher, coach, or other adult they all know.
- Have the meeting in a comfortable location selected by the students.
- Schedule the meeting to run 60 to 90 minutes.
- Ask students to write up their reflections on the conversation afterward, and ask for at least one student to volunteer to share those reflections. They could be read at a board meeting, a student assembly, or published in a school publication. We would request that they be sent to NSBA at firstname.lastname@example.org, as well.
- Encourage as many students as possible to get involved in Pearson Foundation’s Million Voices survey.