The middle school recently created a Buccaneer Roundtable to enhance student voices and leadership under the larger umbrella of improving school culture and climate.
Last year, the school’s Student Climate and Culture Committee created a survey that was administered to all students. When the results were analyzed, it was determined that as students went through their years at the middle school, they reported having a decreasing say in activities, events and opportunities. The committee designed the Buccaneer Roundtable to counteract that trend. Teachers nominated students from each grade and level of academic performance to join. The goal was to create a cross-section of the student body that could represent the diversity of thoughts and opinions within the building.
Every six weeks, the Roundtable meets – joined by administration and rotating members of the student committee – to discuss issues such as school policies and procedures, bullying and cyberbullying, lunch and recess, school safety, and student well-being. Students are asked to bring concerns from the student body to the meeting. Administration then made changes based on student feedback, such as creating a policy in which eighth graders are allowed to choose new lunch tables and spend recess in the courtyard every Friday.
“This is a positive thing for our school because everyone gets a voice and the students get to be heard,” said eighth grader and Roundtable member Keyara Hassell. “The students like it because they can tell us their problems or issues and we can try to fix them to make the school a better place. I enjoy being in the Roundtable.”