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Washougal School District hosts AASA for student-led tours

The Columbian
Published: April 22, 2023, 5:07am

WASHOUGAL — Washougal School District and AASA, the School Superintendents Association, recently co-hosted a cohort of public education leaders from across the nation in Washougal. Innovative Districts Empowering All Learners Cohort participants examined best practices in future-driven education through student-led school tours, a student voice panel, and workshops. Visiting leaders in education experienced first-hand the ways that Washougal School District centers student voice in school and district decision making.

In a session on March 28, cohort participants discussed school culture and programs with six Washougal High School student leaders. Students, staff and visitors spoke openly about the impact that the student voice has had on school board decisions and school culture. Among the student leadership and voice programs discussed were the Student Advisory Panel, a group of high school students who represent student interests at school board work sessions, and the Ambassador program, a partnership with Unite! Washougal for student-to-student mentorship.

Visiting leaders also experienced school life at student-led tours of Washougal High School and Hathaway Elementary School on March 27. Students toured participants through American sign language, sports medicine and computer science classes at Washougal High School. The tour also stopped in the high school career center to speak with Career Specialist Kathy Scobba and in the cafeteria to meet WSD Chef Jonathan Curiel. At Hathaway Elementary School, fifth grade student leaders guided participants through bustling classrooms at the school. “Student voice gives an important perspective on school, and being listened to makes you feel valued,” said Reece Prynne, 5th grade student at Hathaway Elementary School.