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ERIC Number: EJ1002444
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1784
Learning from the True Customers
Kaster, Gregory
Educational Leadership, v70 n1 p68-70 Sep 2012
Madison Elementary School, a K-6 school of 335 students in Marshfield, Wisconsin, recognizes the value of student feedback and strives to learn more through monthly student meetings, whole-class sit-downs, and student exit interviews. As the principal of Madison Elementary School, the author meets with a group of students for half an hour during lunch on the first Friday of each month to talk about ways Madison can improve. They call these sessions ROARS (Representing Outstanding and Responsible Students) meetings to coincide with the school's tiger mascot. To give lots of students a chance to participate, each classroom sends two different representatives to ROARS each month; these students are chosen by the teacher or voted on by the class. They share minutes from these meetings with the parent-teacher organization, the student body, and staff. Student comments at the meetings have led to changes in lunchroom rules and procedures, student discipline policies, and pedagogical practices. The author and the school guidance counselor also visit classrooms regularly to talk with students about such topics as bullying, test preparation, school rules, recess guidelines, and school safety. These discussions, which usually last 20-30 minutes, are called sit-downs to emphasize that the role of the principal and counselor is to sit down and listen. At the end of the school year, the author conducts one-on-one exit interviews in his office with graduating 6th grade students. Exit interviews have given them a wealth of ideas on how best to serve their students. When it comes to school improvement, students have a great deal to offer. Principals, teachers, and staff would be unwise to ignore this source of knowledge, insight, and talent that fills the school building every day. Knowing how, when, and what to ask and offer students can mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful school.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Support Staff; Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin