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Students Engage in Discussions with HCPSS Leaders, Aiming to Make a Difference in Their Community

December 12th, 2022

Student representatives from every Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) high school recently had the opportunity to meet with HCPSS leaders and Board of Education members. The event aimed to bridge a gap between students and adults within the school system, and provide a means for students to communicate issues of importance.

“The purpose of the meeting was to provide a forum for students to provide feedback and insight into the daily lives of HCPSS students,” Oliver Song, the President of Howard County Associations of Student Councils (HCASC), explains.

The meeting, which was attended by approximately 36 students, began with students identifying one word they thought of when they thought of school. Students responded with words like “foundational,” “meaningful,” “excruciating” and “unrepresented.”

Cards from student and leaders meeting.

The activity prompted discussion on a range of topics, including issues of enhanced communication and a myriad of social issues.

HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano concluded the discussion, noting the critical importance of meaningful dialog between teachers and students, and student involvement within the community.

“Although no one loves hearing that we have some shortcomings in our schools, it’s encouraging to know that we have opportunities [like this] for students to express these concerns and people who are willing to listen and help,” noted Student Member of the Board Abisola Ayoola, who attended the meeting.

James LeMon, the Director of Community, Parent, and School Outreach, hopes for more opportunities to listen and learn from students. Leaders intend to share the student feedback with school based leaders, staff, and families to initiate change in the community.

Students and HCPSS leaders meet twice a year. Staff and students from the Howard County Association of Student Councils facilitate the meeting. Students who attend are selected by their school administrators or through student government sponsors.