Sudbury Catholic District School Board
November 28, 2019

Student Voice – Learning from our students

Director's Corner

During the Spring of 2019, I was fortunate to visit each of our schools. While visiting, I was able to meet with students from Grade 4 to Grade 12 to discuss what they appreciate about their school and what they think can be improved upon. Students were thoughtful, respectful and fully engaged in the conversation. These conversations are crucial to ensuring that our priorities are aligned with our students thoughts and needs. Student input was gathered using Thoughtexchange which is an online collaboration tool and is being used to guide our Board and school Improvement Planning processes. The result of student input will help to make our system even better. I am very pleased to be part of a system that is developing a culture that promotes student voice and that shares ownership for learning with its students.

Elementary School input!

Our elementary students always have amazing ideas on how to improve their own schools. I enjoyed the opportunity to speak to each and every participating student and hear what they think about their school.

Elementary top five thoughts on suggested improvements:

  1. School yard
  2. Gymnasium
  3. Field trips
  4. Electronics
  5. Lockers

Here is what some of our elementary students had to say when asked what could be improved upon at their school:

  • “Comfy seating. We need comfortable chairs so that we can focus and be in a comfortable place to learn.”
  • “We should have more gym time. It’s important because physical fitness is important.”
  • “Laptops. We need more laptops because they are great learning tools and they are very helpful for slideshows and more.
  • “If there is a new person here, we could assign them a buddy to show them around the school. I think it’s important because new students need to know their way around school .”
  • “I think there should be more school outings and field trips, their unforgettable memories. Kids should experience and learn on field trips more often, making it fun and a chance visually to learn something.”
Grade 6 students at St. Paul School complete the school survey on ThoughtExchange.
St. James students get ready to give their input.

Elementary top five thoughts on what is appreciated:

  1. Teachers and/or staff
  2. Sports and/or activities
  3. Field trips
  4. Electronics
  5. Friends
  • ” I appreciate all of our staff members and teachers and Early Child Educators. I think it’s important because they are all so nice and they help us.”
  • “I like how there are many sports teams. It is important because I know that many people are talented so these teams can help them express themselves. “
  • “Another thing I appreciate is the fact that our schools offer so much help and support to children with learning disabilities. It’s extremely important because everyone needs a great education no matter the case or disability.”
  • “Our school is starting to improve the space we have by renovating our library to make our Learning Commons. “
  • “I like that we get to use iPads and laptops for projects and other school related things. it’s important because it saves time from having to work on it at home.”

Secondary School Input!

When visiting with the secondary students, I was eager to hear what they had to say on what they appreciate and what can be improved upon. Spending a full day at each site allowed us to engage in deep dialogue and to identify those areas that we appreciate and to talk about how each school could be improved.

Secondary students top five thoughts on suggested improvements:

  1. Updates to building (renovations, ventilation…)
  2. Specific classes and/or programs
  3. Student opinions
  4. School environment/spirit and participation
  5. Uniforms

Here are what some of our students had to say when asked how their school can be improved:

  • “Give students opportunities to explore career paths and begin education for these career paths in high school. For example there are Co-ops and SHSMs. Another way is uniting with post-secondary schools such as NOSM to give students experience and training.”
  • “Focus on the environment! We should start an initiative to help our world. First, start with having a recycling box near the trash can. The saving lights, then the world!”
  • “More classes dedicated to the real world.”
  • “Act more upon students’ voices, or at least attempt to. For example when students ask if they could form a club, see if teachers are willing to lead the students in it such as a robotics club for high school.”
  • “Think of ways to increase student participation.”
  • “More knowledge about how to apply for programs going into college or university. It’s a big decision and it should not take a short amount of time. “
St. Charles College students work together to discuss what can be improved at their school.

Secondary top five thoughts on what is appreciated:

  1. Teachers and/or staff
  2. Programs
  3. Activities/Clubs/Sports
  4. Learning/school environment
  5. Academics

Here are what some of our students had to say about what they appreciate about their school:

  • “The programs teachers have taken their time to put together for us (for example SHSM). This gives students a chance to further their learning by doing hands on activities with a group. It lets students explore their interests!”
  • “I think our academics are important because it helps me be a stronger student and be more successful.”
  • “Offering extra services for help with classes and homework.”
  • “I like how involved teachers are in school sports, clubs and other activities.”
  • “Our school’s mental health awareness and counselling.”
  • “They have a breakfast club for kids who forgot to have breakfast or can’t afford it.”
Bishop Alexander Carter students demonstrate what is needed to be a successful Catholic Graduate.

Students Complete Videos to Reflect Renewing the Promise

Secondary students also had the opportunity to create videos that reflected faith and Renewing the Promise within their school community. Here are just a few examples!

St. Benedict Student Video

St. Charles College Student Video

Bishop Alexander Carter Student Video

Marymount Academy students complete a team building exercise.
Marymount students present what they appreciate about their school.

Get to know us!

Ryan Scarpellini, a Grade 12 student at St. Charles College is our Student Trustee for the 2019-2020 school year. He believes that student voice is incredibly important and benefits both the students and the Board.

“Student voice is important because it focuses on improving the education and experience for the students. It’s crucial that our educators and Board staff know what students need to learn and to succeed,” he explains.

“It’s really great to have people such as our Director of Education come to speak to students to see what we think about our schools and how we can move forward as a system. It shows that the Board really cares about its students, and I hope all students feel that their voices will be heard.”

Student Trustee Ryan
Register Now! E-mail Copied to Clipboard