Seattle Student Equity Project

From 2006 to 2008, Adam conceptualized, launched, and directed the Seattle Student Equity Project as a partnership of SoundOut and the Seattle Public Schools Office of Equity and Race Relations. He worked with eight high schools in Seattle to create, develop, and support Student Equity Teams focused on Meaningful Student Involvement and race relations in high schools across the city.

The Seattle Student Equity Project focused on three themes:

  • Equity and Race Relations Bringing communities together through open dialogue and honest reflection around what is meant by racism and the impact is has on our society and more specifically, students.
  • Student Voice Engaging the perspectives and actions of young people in educational activities that partner students with adults to improve schools.
  • Service Learning Combining powerful opportunities to help others with substantial classroom learning goals.

Every Student Equity Team was invited to participate in a program that includes four components:

  • Ongoing Training for students and adults focused on each project theme in order to increase the capacity through knowledge-sharing and skill-building;
  • Student-Led Evaluations of student perspectives about equity and race relations in Seattle Public Schools;
  • Service Learning Projects that are designed, implemented, and evaluated by students in response to student-led evaluations, and;
  • Cross-School Collaborations through monthly meetings and training that encourage students to share experiences and brainstorm responses.

Secondary Academy for Success

From 2003-06, Adam consulted with Secondary Academy for Success in Bothell, Washington, to integrate students as partners into their school improvement planning process. 

Adam provided training to nontraditional student leaders at this alternative high school in suburban Seattle. After facilitating a school-wide forum for 150 students on school improvement, students joined committees and made reports to the school board on how they think schools should change. Their input drove school improvement efforts for the next several years, including a school redesign process that was implemented.

 

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HumanLinks Foundation

From 2004 to 2008, Adam contracted with the HumanLinks Foundation, a family foundation in north Seattle, to develop foundation goals, knowledge, and activities to support meaningful student involvement throughout education.

He assisted in the development and implementation of an activity-oriented approach towards meaningful student involvement. Activities included the development of a strategic plan, ongoing consultation, project development and management, and evaluation. Specific activities included supporting New Horizons for Learning’s student voice initiative, a Seattle Public Schools high school student project, and activities in local schools.

 

Resources Developed

 


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Small Schools Project

Adam contracted with the Small Schools Project in Seattle in 2004-07. He provided introductory training in meaningful student involvement for 25+ small schools coaches, as well as an intensive training in meaningful student involvement for 50+ students and adults focused on planning for meaningful student involvement in their local small school projects. Included the creation of a chapter for “School Culture: An Introduction” published by Small Schools Project. 


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Washington OSPI SIPP

Adam partnered with the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction School Improvement Planning Program in Olympia to provide a Meaningful Student Involvement Initiative from 2003-05. Partners also included Yakima Public Schools and the Washington State University Center for Bridging the Digital Divide.

Through this project Adam…

  • Coordinated a statewide pilot project in 45 elementary, middle, and senior high schools in 12 districts. 
  • Solely focused on meaningful student involvement in federally-mandated school improvement. 
  • Frameworks for meaningful student involvement adapted by U.S. Department of Education. 

Adam provided ongoing training and technical assistance to school improvement coaches and lead improvement coaches in 75+ schools across Washington State. The project included the development of a chapter in the School Improvement Planning Process Guide published by OSPI. 


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SoundOut SIPP

Adam worked with a number of partner agencies, schools, and the state education agency to facilitate the SoundOut School Improvement Planning Pilot Project. Elementary, middle, and high schools across Washington State. He facilitated student voice training, programs, and evaluations focused on the role of students in formal school improvement activities.

From 2003 to 2006, Adam worked in elementary, middle, and high schools across Washington State to facilitate training, programs, and evaluations regarding the role of students in formal school improvement activities. He created professional development, student training, whole-school forums, and systemic evaluations of student voice and meaningful student involvement. Funding was provided by the HumanLinks Foundation, with additional support from Yakima Public Schools, and the Center for Bridging the Digital Divide.

Pilot Schools

  • Lewis and Clark Middle School (Yakima, WA) SoundOut facilitated a school improvement planning process for 35 traditional and nontraditional student leaders, 10 teachers, and several administrators focused integrating student voice in school improvement. The 750 students in this urban school all participated in a student co-designed survey. Afterwards, students analyzed the data, identified their priorities, and presented information to building and district leaders.
  • Ridgeview Elementary School (Yakima, WA) SoundOut facilitated a school improvement planning process for 25 students and 5 teacher-partners. Participants completed training on student voice and co-designed a survey with their school improvement facilitator. Afterwards, they created action plans that will sustain an annual student team focused on school improvement in their building.
  • Spanaway Elementary School (Bothell, WA) SoundOut facilitated several training programs for students and educators at Spanaway focused on student voice and service learning.
  • Dayton High School (Dayton, WA) SoundOut facilitated training in meaningful student involvement for 20 student leaders, who then facilitated student voice forums for every student in this rural eastern Washington school. Those forums led to the creation of four action plans that were presented to the student body.
  • Friday Harbor High School (Friday Harbor, WA) SoundOut facilitated a school improvement planning process focused on meaningful student involvement in this rural island high school. School-wide forums and classes led by students brought a new commitment among students and teachers to promote student voice at the school.
  • Secondary Academy for Success (Bothell, WA) SoundOut provided training to nontraditional student leaders at this alternative high school in suburban Seattle. After facilitating a school-wide forum for 150 students on school improvement in Spring 2003, students have joined committees and made reports to the school board on how they think schools should change.

 


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SoundOut

SoundOut provides training, tools, and technical assistance to schools focused on Meaningful Student Involvement. Adam developed the program and has promoted it nationally and internationally since 2002. Today, it is a resource to students and educators around the world. Through SoundOut, Adam has provided professional development and training for dozens of K-12 school across the US. Continuing to work with a variety of clients focused on engaging students as partners in school reform, he has written several publications for SoundOut, including the Meaningful Student Involvement Guide to Students as Partners in School Change and the SoundOut Student Voice Curriculum.


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Washington OSPI Learn & Serve America Program

From 2002 to 2006, Adam contracted with the Washington State Learn & Serve America program. He provided expert training, consultation, and evaluation for 50 schools statewide.

Adam partnered with OSPI’s service learning coordinator to provide consulting and training focused on meaningful student involvement in service learning for 50+ K-12 schools across Washington. Activities included training students and educators in student voice and evaluating service learning programs in local schools. Outcomes from the project also included the creation of the Meaningful Student Involvement Idea Guide, printed by OSPI. Adam’s research and writing also led to the development of the Washington Youth Voice Handbook for the program.

 

Partner Schools (sample)

  • Vashon Island Student Link Alternative School, Vashon
  • Spanaway Elementary School, Spanaway
  • Langley Middle School, Langley
  • Evergreen High School, Vancouver
  • Lewis and Clark High School, Spokane

 


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