Meaningful Student Involvement at Work: YATST

“A fundamental mission of YATST is to change things from from doing things to and for students to doing things with them… that they’re partners in that process…”
Helen Beattie founded Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together, or YATST, in the mid-2000s in order to promote the “four Rs” – Rigor, Relevance, Relationships, and Responsibility. Since then, the program has worked in dozens of schools across Vermont, building a strong foundation for and modeling exactly what Meaningful Student Involvement is at it’s highest levels of implementation. Focused on teaching about student/adult partnerships for school improvement, YATST deeply affects individual participants and whole schools.
Taking students from their traditionally historic roles as passive recipients of teaching, YATST deliberately moves learners towards become active partners throughout education. Watching any one of the dozens of videos available on YouTube and scanning the beautifully comprehensive YATST website is an inspiring journey. Teaching students why schools need to change, how that happens, and other important things they need to know about the process, YATST elevates knowledge, deepens investment, and transforms perceptions of students and adults throughout education.
“It’s deep , work that deserves a core place in our schools as a part of learning, and when it is that, it has the potential for significant change.”
I highly recommend that you watch and learn about Meaningful Student Involvement from this masterful program today. You may remember that I’ve featured their work before. I have deep admiration for Helen and what her program has accomplished, and I thoroughly recommend her model whenever I can. It is the high bar.
Discover more about YATST at and find more on Meaningful Student Involvement at

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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