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Meaningful Student Involvement Deep Assessment

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  • 1. MeaningfulStudentInvolvementDeepAssessment© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All RightsReserved. Please do not photocopy without theauthor’s permission.
  • 2. Page2© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.Table of ContentsIntroduction ...................................... 3Motivation ........................................ 4Culture ............................................ 6Student Readiness............................... 7Adult Readiness.................................. 8Relationships ....................................11Action ............................................12Rigor..............................................14Relevance........................................17Sustainability....................................18Barriers...........................................19Evaluation .......................................22
  • 3. Page3© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.IntroductionAfter working with hundreds of schools over the lastdecade, I’m determined to spread the word aboutMeaningful Student Involvement further than everbefore. This deep assessment should help.This tool is meant to be a challenge to you. If youthink your classroom, school, district, or stateagency is involved in any of the following, this tool ismeant for you: Meaningful Student Involvement Student Voice Listening to Students Students as Partners in School Change Student Engagement Student-Led Learning Flipped Classrooms Student/Adult PartnershipsPractitioners of service learning, experientiallearning, student-driven technology usage, and otherstudent-inclusive processes may appreciate this tooltoo.In our rapidly changing world, massive schooltransformation is necessary. This tool intends topush your school or agency further. Thank you forusing it.—Adam FletcherMay 2013Olympia, Washington
  • 4. Page4© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.MotivationDEEP ASSESSMENT: Meaningful StudentInvolvement happens for a reason.1. Is the purpose of student involvement clearlydefined?2. Who identified that purpose?3. Was their intention known to everyone involved?4. Why does Meaningful Student Involvement matterin your classroom? In your school? In your district?5. Who led the process of fostering MeaningfulStudent Involvement at your school? Students requested it Elected officials (superintendent, schoolboard) initiated it Teachers initiated it Principals initiated it District/state/federal policy directives Trying to respond to internal or externalstudent problems6. What are the expected or delivered outcomes? For students? For teachers, principals, or other adults? For the school culture? For the education system?
  • 5. Page5© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission. For the larger community?7. What is the positive and negative history ofstudent involvement in your school?8. Is student involvement part of a larger strategyto improve schools?
  • 6. Page6© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.CultureDEEP ASSESSMENT: Creating the Culture toSupport Meaningful Student Involvement1. Do all students feel safe to be meaningfullyinvolved?2. How are students meaningfully involved?3. How are students respected?4. How are students responded to?
  • 7. Page7© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.Student ReadinessDEEP ASSESSMENT: Ensuring Student Readiness forMeaningful Student Involvement5. Were students involved in determining the needfor student involvement?6. Are students aware of adults’ intentions forinvolving students?7. Have students reflected on learning? Schools? Theeducation system? School improvement? Studentvoice?8. What steps have been taken to ensure that thelevel of involvement is appropriate to theknowledge and ability of the students involved?9. Describe the ways that the developmental needsof students are taken into account?• Are there skills-oriented learningopportunities focused on the task at hand,i.e. decision-making, problem-solving, actionplanning, evaluation, task completion,budgeting, self-management, curriculumdesign, research, community organizing, etc?• Are there knowledge-oriented learningopportunities focused on the task at hand,i.e. school improvement, supportive learningenvironments, equity and diversityawareness, standards-based learning, etc?• Is the self-image and confidence of studentsbuilt appropriately?• Are “routines” rehearsed with adults?10.Does the involvement opportunity allow forvarying levels of engagement from students?
  • 8. Page8© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.Adult ReadinessDEEP ASSESSMENT: Ensuring Adult Readinessfor Meaningful Student Involvement11.Have adults reflected on student voice?Meaningful Student Involvement?12.Are adults aware of students’ objectives forbeing involved?13.Do adults feel fully informed about the issues,policies, programs, services, and/or activitiesthat affect students?14.Were adults involved in determining the need forstudent involvement?15.Do adults feel fully informed about meaningfulstudent involvement, student voice, and thestudents’ role in the involvement opportunity?16.How many adults are involved in ensuring studentinvolvement in the opportunity?17.How often do adults advocate on behalf ofstudent partners to other adults in the system topersuade them to listen to students by listeningto them, returning emails or phone calls, etc.18.Do adults promote Meaningful StudentInvolvement in a way that… Is fun or pleasant? Promotes positive recognition for students? Does not marginalize students to a limitedrole or set of issues? Allows students to make mistakes? Demonstrates trust in students? Provides time to listen to students as partof this opportunity?
  • 9. Page9© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.19.Do adults provide emotional support forMeaningful Student Involvement by: Paying attention to students feelings? Caring about their personal issues? Helping them with their problems? Discussing sensitive topics?20.Are adults allies to students by: Offering suggestions at meetings? Providing students with a range of optionsto stimulate their ideas? Helping students organize their activities? Helping students facilitate at meetings? Providing timely information? Presenting information in real, concreteterms?21.Do adults teach students about: Preparing agendas and taking minutes? Creating teams? Depersonalizing conflict? Understanding school improvement? Learning from the process as well asoutcomes?22.Do adults help students understand: The politics and personalities involved? The bureaucratic structures and policyconstraints?
  • 10. Page10© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission. The reasons why students (and othergroups) have been excluded fromdecisions? Any underlying reasons for personalconflict at meetings?
  • 11. Page11© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.RelationshipsDEEP ASSESSMENT: Building Relationships toSupport Meaningful Student Involvement23.How do students involved in Meaningful StudentInvolvement consult other students? How often?On what?24.How do they seek guidance from adults? Howoften?25.Does the student involvement opportunity have:a. clearly stated goals?b. a plan of action?c. time limits /deadlines?26.Are students expected to make representationson behalf of the whole group, even though theymight not entirely agree?27.How are students ensuring that theirhealth/family/schoolwork/friends/do not sufferbecause they are involved?28.Are students selected to be heard, and how doesthat happen?29.Do, or how does, students report to otherstudents?
  • 12. Page12© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.ActionDEEP ASSESSMENT: Taking Action30.Have students worked with adults to determinewhat constitutes meaningful studentinvolvement?31.Have students worked with adults to identifyschool issues, challenges, or problems?32.Have students identified their own possiblesolutions or goals in their school?33.Have students worked with adults to identifypossible solutions or goals in their school?34.Do students feel fully informed about issues thatmatter to them?35.Have students learned about issues that matterto the whole schools? The larger community? Thestate?36.Have students worked with adults to initiateproject ideas and activities?37.Are students meaningfully involved in identifyingthe problems, challenges, or needs to beaddressed by school improvement?38.Are students meaningfully involved in formulatingthe problem and analyzing the situation?39.Are students meaningfully involved in creatingschool improvement policy?40.Are students meaningfully involved in adoptingschool improvement policy?41.Are students meaningfully involved in approvingprograms, services, and activities to implementschool improvement?42.Are students meaningfully involved in teachingadults about school improvement?
  • 13. Page13© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.43.Are students meaningfully involved in monitoringschool improvement?44.Are students meaningfully involved in evaluatingthe impact of school improvement?45.Are students meaningfully involved with adultsand other community members in schoolimprovement?
  • 14. Page14© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.RigorDEEP ASSESSMENT: Ensuring Rigor inMeaningful Student Involvement46.Are different types of students motivated andencouraged to be meaningfully involvedthroughout education? How?a. differently-abled studentsb. disengaged studentsc. low-income studentsd. different student sub-culturese. students from minority populations47.Is there an active recruitment program?48.Are current student leaders encouraged tonurture their successors?49.Are the students given opportunities to learn theknowledge and skills critical to their successfulinvolvement?50.Is Meaningful Student Involvement visible inactivities, programs, services and policy-makingthroughout the school? How or why not?51.Are mentors assigned to coach MeaningfulStudent Involvement?52.What resources does the school provide tosupport Meaningful Student Involvement?f. training budgetsg. travel budgetsh. telephone/fax/e-mail budget or accessi. office space
  • 15. Page15© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.53.Are students actively encouraged to speak atmeetings?54.Are there active measures within the school topromote a positive image of students amongadults? What are those measures?55.Are student issues addressed from a positive,present, and powerful perspective?56.What steps are taken to prepare for turnoveramong the students and adults involved inMeaningful Student Involvement?57.Describe the ways in which traditional processeswere made more flexible to accommodateMeaningful Student Involvement.58.Describe the ways in which the timelines/deadlines were adjusted to allow time forMeaningful Student Involvement.59. Describe the ways in which the current processof Meaningful Student Involvement built uponexisting student involvement opportunities.60.Is there an elected/appointed official responsiblefor encouraging Meaningful Student Involvement?61.Is/are there staff assigned to ensure that studentinvolvement is meaningful?62.Is/are there students assigned to ensure thatstudent involvement is meaningful?63.Are adults asked to volunteer to mentorindividual students in the process of creatingMeaningful Student Involvement?64.Are students asked to volunteer to mentorindividual students in the process of creatingMeaningful Student Involvement?65.Are there any parallel goals or can the mission ofyour school be enhanced by Meaningful StudentInvolvement? Describe the connections, ifpossible.
  • 16. Page16© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.
  • 17. Page17© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.RelevanceDEEP ASSESSMENT: Ensuring the Relevance ofMeaningful Student Involvement66.What steps are taken to make the issuesaddressed by Meaningful Student Involvementrelevant to students?67.What capacities are explicitly developed amongstudent and adults?68.How is student learning from Meaningful StudentInvolvement assessed and/or acknowledged?69.Does the student involvement opportunity haveclear classroom learning connections?70.How are students recognized for theirinvolvement?71.How is adult learning from Meaningful StudentInvolvement assessed and/or acknowledged?72.What steps are made to ensure that recognition isrelevant to students?73.What steps/actions are taken to ensureMeaningful Student Involvement is fun?74.What opportunities are provided for student toform friendships beyond Meaningful StudentInvolvement activities?
  • 18. Page18© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.SustainabilityDEEP ASSESSMENT: Sustaining MeaningfulStudent Involvement75.Are students meaningfully involved in trainingother students to be involved?76.Is there an active process to recruit new studentswhen others leave?77.Are students satisfied with their involvement?How do you know?78.Are students satisfied with adult involvement?How do you know?79.Are adults satisfied with their involvement? Howdo you know?80.Are adults satisfied with student involvement?How do you know?81.What steps are taken to overcome studentdisengagement?82.What steps are taken to overcome fluctuatinginvolvement of students?83.What steps are taken to overcome adultdisengagement?84.What steps are taken to overcome the fluctuatinginvolvement of adults with students?85.How does Meaningful Student Involvement affectstudents outside of the involvement opportunity?86.Are students outside of the formal involvementopportunity aware of the opportunity?
  • 19. Page19© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.BarriersDEEP ASSESSMENT: Addressing the Barriers toMeaningful Student Involvement87.Are barriers to Student-Adult Partnerships beingaddressed?88.What steps are taken to ensure that studentinvolvement is meaningful?89.Do students understand the intentions of theprocess, decision, or outcomes?90.Do students know who made the decisions aboutMeaningful Student Involvement and why theywere made?91.Is the process and are the results of MeaningfulStudent Involvement recorded, reported inwriting, and distributed?92.Do students involved receive a report (verbal orin writing) on the outcomes of MeaningfulStudent Involvement?93.Were false and negative assumptions aboutstudents abilities to participate deliberatelyaddressed by students and/or adults?94.Are all adults clear about the class or schoolsintent to foster Meaningful Student Involvement?95.Do adults support Meaningful StudentInvolvement?96.Do adults provide good examples of MeaningfulStudent Involvement?97.How was students’ inexperience addressed?98.Did students work on issues that they clearlyidentify as important?99.Did students work on issues that their schoolclearly identifies as important?
  • 20. Page20© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.100. Did students start with short-term goals andactivities?101. Have students and adults identified and, whenpossible, corrected negative experiencesstudents have had with student involvement?102. What steps were taken to reduce theresistance from adults?103. Has there been a written policy statementdeveloped from the governing body supportingand advocating for Meaningful StudentInvolvement?104. Has there been a memo/document from theschool leader stating their support,encouragement, and commitment to MeaningfulStudent Involvement?105. Has the principal or superintendentintroduced Meaningful Student Involvement toschool leaders?106. Have there been social events organized toincrease positive interactions between studentsand adults?107. Have joint workshops with students and adultsbeen held?108. Has a plan been put in place to infusestudents throughout the mainstream, coreactivities of the class or school?109. Have steps been taken to help students fitinto adult structures?110. Have students been placed on in a previouslyadult-only group with support from a designatedadult?111. Does someone meet with students beforemeetings to help them clarify their objectives forthe meeting?112. Do students feel comfortable about asking forclarification?
  • 21. Page21© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.113. What steps have been taken to make thelocation and times of meetings convenient tostudents?a. Consulting with the students involved abouttimes/dates of meetingsb. Choosing locations that are accessible tostudents and public transportation114. Are there any other initiatives or changesgoing on in the class or school (new programs,restructuring, etc.) that will compete forattention with the goals and processes ofMeaningful Student Involvement?115. How are the student members selected sothat they are credible to the student body?116. How do you know that they are credible?117. How often have there been problems whenstudent members have not been able to completetheir assignment on time? What steps were takento avoid these problems in the future?
  • 22. Page22© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.EvaluationDEEP ASSESSMENT: Evaluating the Outcomesof Meaningful Student Involvement118. How does the class or school provide forformal and informal feedback from students onMeaningful Student Involvement?119. Are the events, activities, and numbers ofstudents measured?120. Are the levels, motivations, and impacts ofstudents and adults involved monitored andreported?121. Are the quantitative effects of MeaningfulStudent Involvement measured, monitored, andreported? Grades attendance records dropout rates number of student participants in a givenactivity Others122. Are the numerical effects of MeaningfulStudent Involvement measured, monitored, andreported?123. Are students other than those directlyinvolved in an opportunity involved in theassessment as independent evaluators?124. Are there formal evaluations of MeaningfulStudent Involvement completed by students andadults?125. Are the summative impacts of MeaningfulStudent Involvement recognized? creation of new curriculum or programs
  • 23. Page23© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission. creation of an administrative supportstructure training of professionals made mandatory ormore widespread teaching of peers or younger students development or dissemination of materials more student voice in instruction student educational desires assessed,documented more, better involvement opportunities more appropriate, student-friendly policies,rules, or guidelines adapted more accessible or student-convenientservices nontraditional or new student leadersidentified new social norms established among students new social norms established among studentsand adults student involvement vehicle created student involvement groups created andsustained through policy, positions, or funds student voice workshops or information forparents offered new dedicated space(s) for students new or more policies, positions, and/orongoing funding for student programs,policies, services or activities self-managed programs by students, forstudents
  • 24. Page24© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission. student-managed programs by students, forstudents and adults meaningful student involvement in schoolplanning meaningful student involvement ineducational evaluation meaningful student involvement in classroomteaching meaningful student involvement throughoutschool decision-making meaningful student involvement in educationadvocacy change in compositions of adult committeesand boards to meaningfully involve students required student involvement in all decisions creation or development of student advisorystructures change in consultative structures to includestudents126. Is there a report including the summativeeffects of Meaningful Student Involvementdeveloped?127. Are the summative results of MeaningfulStudent Involvement collected and distributed tostudents and adults?
  • 25. Page25© 2013 Adam Fletcher for SoundOut. All Rights Reserved. Please do not photocopy without the author’s permission.About SoundOutFor more than a decade, SoundOut has supported K-12 schools, districts, andstate education agencies across the United States and around the world. Thefocus of our training, tools, and technical assistance is Meaningful StudentInvolvement.We would love to support your school or agency. Please contact our officetoday to discuss the possibilities.Adam Fletcher(360) 489-9680adam@soundout.orgFor free scoring and anevaluation, please email yourcompleted Assessment toAdam Fletcher atadam@soundout.org