MUSD lays it all out

April 25, 2018

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera Unified School District administrators and civic leaders met with more than 30 Madera High and Madera South students for a lunch meeting to discuss issues relating to the students within the district.

Seeks student assistance in improving school climate


As the increase in concern over turbulence in public schools spreads across the nation, Madera Unified School District is making a concerted effort to engage its high school students in a joint examination of the school climate that presently prevails at Madera High and Madera South High.


While young people throughout the country are demanding a voice in dealing with violence in their schools, MUSD recently reached out to students from both of the district’s high schools to invite them to take part in a “working” lunch, review some data, and consider a couple of initiatives that could improve school climate on local campuses.


On Monday, April 16, more than 30 students from both high schools met with MUSD administrators and civic leaders to let the community know how they feel about issues that affect student-to-student and student-to-adult interaction within the district.


After the dust had settled, it became clear to the students that the district had something in mind. It wants the young people to buy into two initiatives that would put the students on the working end of creating a student voice in improving school climate.


MUSD is proposing a Student Advocacy Council (SAC) and a cohort of Safe School Ambassadors to “empower students as peacemakers to improve school climate.”


Monday’s meeting began with a brief presentation by Superintendent Todd Lile and then jumped quickly into a review of data on school climate. The students were divided into several groups and given a look at several sets of pertinent statistics.


They were then asked to provide input on several surveys in which students from both high schools had answered questions regarding data points concerning fights at school, respect, worry over violence at school, interest in classes, and teacher enthusiasm.

Fights at school


Madera High — 73 percent of the students surveyed said fights almost never happened or if they did, it was only once in a while.


Madera South High — 43 percent of the students surveyed said fights almost never happened or if they did, it was only once in a while.

Respect among students


Madera High — 38 percent of the students thought students showed “quite a bit of respect or a tremendous amount of respect” to each other.


Madera South High — 41 percent of the students thought students showed “quite a bit of respect or a tremendous amount of respect” to each other.

Worries over violence at school


Madera High — 66 percent of the students almost never worried or worried only once in a while about violence at school.


Madera South High — 60 percent of the students almost never worried or worried only once in a while about violence at school.

Do students matter to other students?


Madera High — 30 percent of the students felt they mattered quite a bit or mattered a tremendous amount to other students.


Madera South High — 34 percent of the students felt they mattered quite a bit or mattered a tremendous amount to other students.

Disrespect at school


Madera High — 22 percent felt they almost never are disrespected by others at school or if so only once in a while.


Madera South High — 27 percent felt they almost never are disrespected by others at school or if so only once in a while.


Interest in classes


Madera High — 31 percent are quite interested or extremely interested in their classes.


Madera South High — 32 percent are quite interested or extremely interested in their classes.

Teacher enthusiasm


Madera High — 37 percent of the teachers are frequently or almost always excited to be teaching their classes.


Madera South High — 34 percent of the teachers are frequently or almost always excited to be teaching their classes.


Once the students in Monday’s workshop met in small groups with the district administrators and community leaders, they were given an opportunity to share their views with the larger group. Their remarks as well as their written responses were well reasoned and straightforward.


A large number were surprised at the data they reviewed, and offered a number of realistic suggestions in which students could help improve school climate.


In a post mortem on the meeting with The Tribune, several students underscored the need to be taken seriously. They expressed interest in a Student Advocacy Council and a cohort of Safe School Ambassadors, but insisted they must be authentic in their composition and function.

Please reload

Recently Featured Articles

MUSD riding out the storm

1/9
Please reload

0
The Madera Tribune

Website content may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written approval from the publisher.