KDE Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council discusses virtual listening tour

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Commissioner's Student Advisory Council Virtual Meeting: February 11, 2021Members of the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) virtually reunited for a brief meeting to discuss Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass’ upcoming virtual listening tour.

The goal of the month-long tour, set to launch April 6, is to gather input on long-term aspirations for the Commonwealth’s education system. There will be nine 90-minute sessions held online across the state, one in each cooperative region and one in Louisville.

The SAC was invited to not only attend the virtual tour, but help KDE facilitate the discussion. Many council members were excited about being included in the conversations early in the planning process and the opportunity to show the value of student voices.

“I definitely think it’s a good way for students to be able to ask questions,” said Anastasia Panaretos, a sophomore at South Oldham High School. “Being able to be a student rep and being able to get other students in the community involved will help communication.”

Peyton Hall, a senior at Fleming County High School, agreed.

“I think right now more than ever reaching the voices of stakeholders is extremely important,” Hall said.

Anna Williams, a senior at Anderson County High School, expressed support that lawmakers and students alike were invited to participate in these discussions.

“That’s where we really see change happening. When you get people that make the change, listening to people that want the change,” Williams said.

Listening Tour Dates
All the listening tour sessions will be virtual, so those who are interested can join any session. Participants can pre-register online.

All sessions will start at 6 p.m., local time. More information will be released soon. Tentatively, the schedule is as follows:

  • April 6: Greater Louisville Educational Cooperative
  • April 8: West Kentucky Educational Cooperative (Murray)
  • April 15: Green River Regional Educational Cooperative (Bowling Green)
  • April 20: Southeast/South-Central Educational Cooperative (Richmond)
  • April 22: Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative (Lexington)
  • April 27: Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Education Services (Cold Springs)
  • April 29: Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (Shelbyville)
  • May 4: Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (Hazard)
  • May 6: Kentucky Educational Development Cooperative (Ashland)

Board of Education Updates
Solyana Mesfin, a junior at Eastern High School (Jefferson County) and student ex officio member on the Kentucky Board of Education, provided an update on projects she has been working on with the board, including ongoing discussions on providing more resources for student equity and inclusion.

Next Meeting
The next regularly scheduled SAC meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 23.

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