Elevating Youth Voice
Lori-Ann Clementson, Community School Director at FDA III joined forces with Mike Jones, Community School Director and Kristina Wylie-Colmenares, Assistant Principal at the Facing History School to share the intentional steps each school team took during the 2018-19 school year to elevate youth voice in their schools, build students’ sense of belonging, and ultimately decrease chronic absenteeism. FDA III implemented a Passport Challenge—an attendance intervention where students checked in with staff daily to monitor attendance and build relationships. The Challenge was improved throughout the year and resulted in students attending more than in years past. The Facing History School shared social-emotional learning data with staff to elevate the need to focus on student belonging, invited students to share feedback with teachers on a student panel, and created space for teachers to plan improvements based on student feedback. These interventions were shared across the school teams and resulted in both schools implementing a version of the attendance challenge.