The Oregon Department of Education seeks to make student voices heard to the leaders that serve them through the Elevating Voices Project
OREGON – The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is hoping to lift the voices and spirits of students throughout the state with the Elevating Voices Project. The project invites educators to facilitate conversations with students and then post a shared statement that captures what their students would like Oregon leadership to know. Capturing students’ experiences, imaginations, courage, and hopes will inform and inspire planning for the future of Oregon.
The Elevating Voices Project came about when retired educator, Judy Graves, suggested an idea to ODE leadership to engage students around how COVID-19 has impacted their lives and how current changes might reshape education in the future.
“We have an opportunity to pause and listen to students so that we can learn from their experiences and understand how best to continue their education through these trying times,” says Assistant Superintendent Scott Nine.
Leaders at ODE are keenly aware of the value of listening to students, especially during this unprecedented time. Director of ODE, Colt Gill, shares that the school closure guidance to districts “Leads with ensuring care and connection for Oregon students. The Elevating Voices Project offers students an opportunity for connection through shared experience with students across the state.”
Responses from students around the state are already coming in. Educators, students, family, and community members can visit the Elevating the Voices of Young People and Children webpage to read through the comments.
Submissions will also be shared with the State Board of Education, education leaders, and Oregon’s legislators. ODE will continue collecting and posting student responses through the end of the school year. Educators can find the facilitation guide and the form to submit student responses on ODE’s website.