• decorative title banner: student advisory committee

  • The Board & Superintendent Student Advisory Panel was created in 2017 to expand opportunities for student voice to be included in major district decisions. Additionally, the group allows students to serve in important leadership roles, while learning powerful lessons about organizational management, operations, governance, civic engagement, and collaborative decision-making.   

Group Objectives

  • Dialogue: To discuss with each other and members of administration and the Board of Trustees happenings and concerns at campuses and within the district as a whole

    Perspective: To review high profile Board of Trustees agenda items and provide a student viewpoint  

    Action: To engage in projects that benefit fellow classmates, the district, and the community

Group Membership

  • Panel members apply to join the group and are selected by the campuses they represent. Currently, the group consists of a male and a female student from each grade at Hays and Lehman High Schools. Live Oak Academy selects one male and one female student. 

    For membership information contact:
    harvest.coats@hayscisd.net

Student Members

  • 2020-2021 Members

    Representing Hays, Johnson, and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, are: Aiden (Denny) Oneal, Angely Irizarry Chico, Audrey Jones, Ava Bedwell, Brian Pesina, Bridget Pennington, Daniel Bergmann, Daniel Vasquez, Deema Omar, Hunter Halenza, Jordan Harding, Lukas Champion, Morgan McKalip, Ryan Munoz, Samantha Kasson, Vivian-An, Nguyen, and Yoshi Nakachi.

    2019-2020 Members

    Representing Hays, Johnson, and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, in alphabetical order are: Daniel Bergmann, Avery Borrel, Marco Cano, Bodhi Chae, Peyton Faulks, Hunter Halenza, Grace Hammond, Audrey Jones, Morgan McKalip, Madi Murphy, Yoski Nakachi, Deema Omar, Denny O'Neal, Dalton Pennington, Bridget Pennington, and Daniel Vasquez

    2018-2019 Members

    Representing Hays and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, in alphabetical order are: Daniel Bergmann, Marco Cano, Bodhi Chae, Madyson Christian, Peyton Faulks, Audrey Jones, Madi Murphy, Matthew Nino, Beatrice Pennington, Luke Roehrig, Ashley Rosendo, James Vargas, Daniel Vasquez, and Tulsi Vaswani

    2017-2018 Members

    decorative photo of students

     

    Representing Hays and Lehman High Schools, and Live Oak Academy, in alphabetical order are: Marco Cano, Bodhi Chae, Madyson Christian, Michael Hellmer, Sierra Merritt, Madi Murphy, Matthew Nino, Beatrice Pennington, Luke Roehrig, Ashley Rosendo, Keely Smith, Josh Torres-Whitmer, James Vargas, and Tulsi Vaswani

Meetings & Notes

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  • November Meeting

    Posted by Harvest Coats on 11/5/2020

    At the first meeting of the 2020-2021 school year, the panel consisted of both in-person members and members who joined virtually by zoom. Members introduced themselves to one another and included a positive thing that is going on in their lives. Many students mentioned getting new pets, getting driving permits, and qualifying for states. 

    Dr. Wright first asked the students to discuss how Covid has impacted everyone’s lives and education specifically. Covid safety and protocols were discussed with a consensus that most students felt safe with current safety measures in place.

    Student members reported both their concerns and the benefits of virtual and in-person learning styles. Students were appreciative of the district giving them grace to turn in late assignments. There was a concern that emails from students to teachers were not being answered in a timely manner. Grading on Schoology was discussed with most students preferring their grades be updated and processed more quickly.

    The panel discussed the different staffing options during virtual and in-person learning environments with a suggestion to have a conclusion segment at the end of class that addressed both in-person and virtual learners about assignments and due dates.

    Comments (-1)
  • October Meeting

    Posted by David Bowe on 10/3/2019
    Comments (-1)
  • September Meeting

    Posted by David Bowe on 9/5/2019

    At the first meeting of the 2019-2020 school year, we had the group reintroduce themselves to one another as we welcomed our new sophomore members from Hays HS, Johnson HS, and Lehman HS. We discussed what each group member did over the summer, and we then talked about how things are going at each school so far this school year. Overall, each reported that things are going well. There are adjustments due to new bell schedules, new principals, and new campuses. The majority of the conversation centered around dress codes, lunch schedules, and vaping.

    We talked about the reason behind dress codes and how/why dress codes can vary from campus to campus. Some students preferred a standardized dress code across the district for middle and high schools. We discussed the proper way to approach issues when we disagree with or would prefer another standard. We encourage person to person conversations with administration representatives where concerns can be expressed. For the next meeting, we will be discussing the vaping issue more, and we will work towards creating a campaign for awareness, education, and prevention.

    Comments (-1)
  • May Meeting

    Posted by David Bowe on 5/2/2019

    For the May meeting, we had our end of the year luncheon where we discussed all of the events of the year. The new topic of discussion was vaping. The students pointed out to the adults how serious of an issue this is, and we will be following up with plans to discourage the use of these devices.

    Comments (-1)
  • April Meeting

    Posted by David Bowe on 4/4/2019

    For the April meeting, the group toured the construction site of Johnson High School. Pictures from the tour may be seen here.

    Comments (-1)
  • March Meeting

    Posted by David Bowe on 3/7/2019

    For this month, the students toured the new Buda Elementary School campus. Photos of the visit can be seen here.

    After the tour, the students discussed the results of the recent Student Engagement Survey conducted with all Hays CISD current 6th-12th grade students. The students were given copies of the overall district results and a copy of the results for their home campus. They shared things that stuck out to them and addressed concerns raised by the survey results.

    Comments (-1)
  • February Meeting

    Posted by David Bowe on 2/7/2019

    For this month, the students toured the construction site for the new central transportation facility, and then we took a tour of Uhland Elementary School.

    Here are pictures from the tour:

    group of students walking at a construction site  group of students walking at a construction site  picture of the construction of a building  construction site pictures  construction site pictures  students touring a construction site  student touring construction site  construction site  students touring construction site  construction site construction site  construction site  student touring construction site  construction site  students touring construction site  fire extinguisher  construction site  construction site  students touring construction site  exterior of transportation facility  student advisory group picture  student advisory group picture

    Comments (-1)
  • January Meeting

    Posted by David Bowe on 1/17/2019

    January 17, 2019

    The following items were discussed:

    • District of Innovation - Updated the group on the passing of the District of Innovation status by the School Board at their December meeting.
    • Accelerated Block Scheduling for high schools - Updated the group that the committee that was reviewing the possibility of the high schools going to an accelerated block schedule for the 2019-2020 school year recommended that we not make that change. At this time, the plan is to proceed with the current class schedule structure for the 2019-2020 school year.
    • 2019-2020 Calendar - Presented the group with the draft calendar for 2019-2020. Overall, the students really liked how the calendar is structured. The following items were highlighted:
      • The students like the idea of starting the school year on a Thursday. This allows for teacher and administrators to have two days to do procedural items, and that would allow for a strong academic start on Monday, August 19th.
      • The students preferred we work to make the school year end on Friday, May 22nd instead of Wednesday, May 27th. They were willing to forego the day off after Labor Day on Tuesday, September 3rd, and they were also willing to come back to school on Tuesday, January 7th instead of Wednesday, January 8th, in order to do so. They realized that other configurations might be used in order to end by Friday, May 22nd, and they were supportive of the plan to try to make that happen.
      • The students were adamant about keeping a full week off for Thanksgiving.
      • The students also preferred having two full weeks, three weekends, off during the holiday break from December to January.
    • Middle School Capacity - One of the big items to come out of the recent rezoning process was the issue of overcrowding at some middle schools. We asked the group how they felt about potentially enlarging existing middle schools instead of adding new ones. Overall, they really liked the idea, especially if it would negate the need to rezone again. 
    • At the conclusion of the meeting, the group toured the new Hays High School Music Hall and Baseball/Softball Complex.
    Comments (-1)
  • December Meeting

    Posted by David Bowe on 12/6/2018

    December 6, 2018

    For December, the students were treated to lunch by Dr. Wright to thank them for their service to the district. We did not have a meeting. We just had the celebratory lunch.

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  • November Meeting

    Posted by David Bowe on 11/8/2018

    November 1, 2018

    •  We began the meeting with a review from one of the students who attended the rezoning public forum that was held at LHS on Thursday, Oct. 25th. He said that he heard a lot of good things from multiple speakers, even though they differed on their views for what zoning map was best. He also noted that there were a few speakers who struggled to articulate their point. Overall, it was a good learning experience.
    • We also had a brief discussion about the current final exam exemption policies. The students asked why AP courses required a higher GPA than on-level courses in order to qualify for an exemption for the final exam. There was also a question about whether or not attendance should be considered in qualifying for exemptions. The students were encouraged to reach out to their campus administrators to express their ideas about how the exemption policies could be changed/improved.
    • The bulk of the meeting revolved around the discussion of Hays CISD possibly applying to become a District of Innovation. A few students had heard about this happening, but they were unclear as to what this meant. Dr. Wright explained what a District of Innovation designation means. He also explained his vision of how being designated as a District of Innovation could help with the implementation of an accelerated block schedule for the high schools by starting and ending the school year earlier than we currently do. The accelerated block schedule could allow for lighter class loads per semester for students and teachers, and it could also allow students to receive more credits by allowing them to take more courses. This type of scheduled could also allow the district to have more students involved in the dual credit program offered through ACC. The students unanimously endorsed the exploration of the DOI designation, and they look forward to further reports on the progress. The students were also encouraged to be voices for the process – to correct misinformation that might be out there and to ask questions from district admin or Board Members when they hear things that might concern them about this designation.
    • The group also further explored the idea of leading a district-wide service project. The students agreed to help encourage donations to the Hays CISD Clothes Closet coat drive on their campuses. In addition, the members agreed to do further research on potential projects and bring back their finding to the December meeting. Ideas for projects included:
      • Doing more to support the Hays CISD Clothes Closet
      • Working with animal shelters (specifically PAWS in Kyle)
      • Working with local women’s shelters (specifically the one in San Marcos)
      • Working with food banks (specifically the Hays County Food Bank)
    • At the end of the meeting, the students were given copies of the rezoning guidelines from the Board, copies of maps being considered, and copies of the demographics that go with each map. The students were to study the material and submit a report regarding which map(s) they most and least support along with their reasoning behind their choices. As of 11.08.18, only four had submitted their reports, and all four had very different ideas and reasoning behind their choices.
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