The application window for three newly created superintendent leadership councils at University View Academy (UVA) was announced in August. The councils were formed to gather feedback from various school voices and involve key stakeholders in the decision-making process. The councils were created to serve three distinct audiences at UVA: students, parents, and teachers. Each of these councils will work to inform the superintendent and organizational leaders with both qualitative and quantitative data that will enable them to make better instructional and administrative decisions.

The Student Leadership Council provides an opportunity for current students to discuss solutions for issues that are important to them at UVA. The purpose of the Parent Advisory Council is to strengthen family and school partnerships that are essential to helping students succeed. The parent and student councils are both comprised of representatives from regions across Louisiana as well as across various grade levels. The Teacher Advisory Council is designed to capture teachers’ insights, suggestions, and perspectives on critical issues at UVA.

Throughout October, each group met with school leadership for the inaugural sessions of the superintendent’s advisory councils. The parent council discussed school topics that were important to them such as student engagement, curriculum optimization, and in-person socialization opportunities. “Our first meeting definitely exceeded my expectations,” shared council member Tonya Williams via email. “The team of parents chosen is top-notch. The staff blew my mind with openness, transparency, and the desire to improve on every level. The care and attention to the students’ overall education, health, and wellness are absolutely amazing.”

The student group discussed issues such as balancing workload, strengthening social skills, and increasing socialization opportunities between students. Council members proposed solutions such as a student mentor system and a student planning panel for in-person events. “I know some changes won’t happen while I’m here,” said junior Dakota Higginbotham on why he joined the council. “But there’s a fifth grader that it will affect. I wanted to be there to help make UVA even better for future students.”

The teacher council includes representatives from various grade levels and subject areas. The members discussed possibilities such as increasing project-based learning opportunities and staff professional development. “I like to be part of solutions,” shared seventh grade teacher Lee Ann Young. “This school is unique, and it is absolutely necessary to the state. It’s the future of education, and I’m excited about what we can do to make it even better.”

UVA will utilize the councils to maintain its commitment to providing a flexible and innovative learning environment that accommodates the needs of all learners. The advisory councils will continue to meet throughout this school year to help further the mission of UVA and to assist UVA in reaching its goal of becoming the most improved charter school in the state.

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