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Student reps would be positive addition

Sometimes, amid the education jargon often heard at school board meetings, it can be easy to forget exactly who will benefit most from the actions of any elected education board — the students.

Over at Regional School District 19, which oversees the regional school system that operates E.O. Smith High School in Storrs, the school board is mulling a plan to have one or two student representatives update the board during regular meetings.

This isn’t an outlandish idea and, historically, school boards in other districts have utilized regular student input.

What District 19 is hoping to do hasn’t been finalized, but what is certain is it doesn’t need to be too complicated.

So far, school board members are weighing whether one or two students should be chosen.

In addition, they are determining if the students should be seniors, juniors or representatives from all classes.

There are still details that need to be worked out.

But the bottom line is it can’t hurt to have students involved.

A couple of things to remember, however.

First, the student report needs to be at the very beginning of the meeting.

Any later is too late, as many high schoolers have extracurricular activities, work or academic work priorities to tend to.

Secondly, these visits to the board of education should be limited to once a month or, perhaps, every other month.

The school board needs to enact a policy making this something students want to do. They don’t want to be dragged to meetings.

There has to be an academic or extracurricular benefit.

If it looks good on a college application, chances are students will be all in on reporting to the school board.

And the school board will get the best information from those they are really serving — the kids.


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