Student voice and agency continues to be a focus at Chelsea High School


Students’ having a voice in their education and school has encouraged the Principal- Student Advisory group at Chelsea High School.

This group brings Principal Nick Angel together with students to meet monthly and discuss all things Chelsea High School.

The Sun Times News (STN) learned about the group through Angel’s recent report to the school board, where in it he said, “Student Voice and Agency continues to be a focus for this school year. Our Principal-Student Advisory Committee met for a third time this week. I am co-facilitating this group with Sonja Schemahorn, CHS Junior, who I look forward to introducing to you in the future.”

STN followed up with Angel and Schemahorn to learn more.

“The goals of our group are to provide student voice and agency in the school improvement process,” Angel explained. “This group is also charged with disseminating information back to our students.”

He said it’s a diverse group made up of all levels of students with varied interests and backgrounds.

In asking about the hopes for the group and its role, Schemahorn told STN, “Students who have expressed interest in getting involved with the committee were seeking leadership opportunities and a place for their voices to be heard. My hope for anyone who has become involved is that they feel our meetings are a place where they can share their perspectives without the pressure of being judged or misunderstood. So far, I think we have been able to create that type of atmosphere, and we will continue to strive to create a welcoming environment for all.”

The group also is a sounding board for other engagement opportunities, according to Angel.

“An example of this is that this student group will participate in the Chelsea Schools strategic planning process as a stakeholder group,” Angel said. “In short, its fun to engage with our CHS students in this capacity and it's proven to be a worthwhile endeavor this year.”

In thinking of how it can help, Schemahorn said “Upon creating the principal advisory committee, Dr. Angel and I were discussing the importance of student voice when it comes to making decisions for the entire school. A lot of the time, students have concerns or observations that remain unsaid and kept to themselves, leaving a disconnect between administration and students. The committee’s goal is to bridge the current gap between staff and students and ultimately bring awareness to student life.”

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