Hamilton County, OH November 2, 1999 Election
Smart Voter

Student Advocacy

By Linda Keith Radtke

Candidate for Board Member; Saint Bernard-Elmwood Place School District

This information is provided by the candidate
Every student deserves an adult advocate at school, and all staff should advocate for students. Student advocacy is best achieved through small advisement groups in which every student is recognized, valued, and assisted.
The advisement group, which meets everyday at the start of school, serves a variety of functions. First, it provides a sense of belonging to every student, enabling the student to practice the teambuilding skills and interpersonal communications skills that will make him or her a successful adult citizen. Second, it serves as a first line of defense to insure a safe and secure environment for all students. Each student is observed in a small group setting which enables problems to surface, identifies the presence or absence of students, and provides an opportunity for students to communicate their fears or concerns before they magnify. Third, it opens the lines of communication between staff and students on a regular basis and provides parents with a single contact person at school who knows their son or daughter better than anyone else there. Fourth, it encourages students to be the best they can be through the ongoing support of an attentive staff member and their peers in their advisement group. Finally, it empowers all staff to work with a manageable number of parents and students to insure that every student progresses, taking the coursework and getting the extra help necessary to graduate on time from high school, prepared and confident for the next step.

Advisement groups add no cost to already strained school finances. They enable school staff to provide one-on-one assistance to students on an ongoing basis, and they provide parents with a close association with their children's educational experiences and choices. Ultimately, studies demonstrate that these advisement groups provide students with attention and direction in ways that reduce discipline problems and increase achievement.

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