Vancouver school board to be asked to bring back districtwide student forum

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      A former Vancouver school board candidate is suggesting a way to make students partners in creating an educational system that works for them.

      Adi Pick is set to address the board Wednesday (February 7) about bringing back a districtwide forum for secondary students.

      She participated in a 2012 forum as a student, an event that she previously said has not been repeated.

      Pick was 20 years old when she ran in last year’s by-election for school board, making her the youngest candidate.

      Pick was a secondary student at Magee when she joined more than 200 high school students in a forum hosted by the Vancouver School Board (VSB) more than six years ago.

      The students gathered at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre on January 31, 2012 to talk about their ideas regarding learning.

      The students were asked four questions, one being what opportunities in the schools allowed them to learn best.

      Their opinions were also sought on what could improve student learning, supports that are necessary to ensure student voices are heard, and how to expand personalized learning.

      A final report on the 2012 districtwide forum was prepared by school staff, which noted that “students do desire to be partners in the design of personalized learning options and pathways”.

      “Their voice is insightful and is a valuable resource to future innovation in the district,” according to the staff report.

      A poster containing the ideas put forward by students in the forum is displayed at one of the board rooms of the VSB offices on West Broadway.

      The district staff report about the 2012 forum noted that students “felt their very best learning experiences have been those that are personal to them; their learning needs and interests, within the context of positive, personal and supportive relationships with their teachers”. 

      Adi Pick was the youngest candidate in the 2017 by-election for Vancouver school board.

      In a commentary about her candidacy for school board last year, Pick recalled that Steve Cardwell, who was the Vancouver school superintendent at the time of the 2012 forum, described the occasion as “an outstanding success”.

      “However, it cannot just be one event, it needs to be an ongoing conversation with students, and we need action,” Pick also remembered Cardwell saying.

      According Pick, no other similar districtwide forum has been called since 2012.