From Students to Customers to Stewards
One stakeholder group that is key to schools, and yet often is overlooked, is students. Henry ensured students weren’t overlooked in the new construction planning process. He selected a committee of 5th graders to design the new school’s playground. While a playground may sound like a small thing, to students it’s a big deal.
These students created a list of playground essentials and desirables. They selected the color scheme, and the types of climbing, swinging, and sliding surfaces.
Two representatives of this committee, Audrey and Caroline, shared proudly about their role.
“We helped Mr. Henry get an idea of what the kids were looking for,” Caroline explained.
By giving the student body voice and ownership during the design phase, Principal Henry ensured students became invested stewards of the new school.
From Audrey and Caroline’s accounts, it worked.
“It was cool because it felt like you could be a part of your new school.” Caroline said with a smile.
Audrey spoke about feeling empowered, “When you look back on the school you can tell the kids after you that you helped design the school.”