THE FWSU STORY: Student Leaders Collaborate with Adults to Transform Learning

Fifteen high school students and two faculty members at BFA Fairfax recently participated in a two-day orientation about Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together (YATST), sponsored by Up for Learning. 

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The goal of YATST is to foster engagement in learning by increasing rigor, relevance, relationships, and shared responsibility (4Rs). Based on the 4Rs framework, student and teacher teams use Action Research to understand issues that impact learning from multiple perspectives and then become agents of change.  

Our YATST team learned about the 4R framework, how to facilitate community discussions through the use of protocols, understanding the importance of student voice in education, and about communication roadblocks that adults and students run up against.

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Jarrett Sweet, a sophomore, actually was selected to co-facilitate the conference.  He facilitated several activities and discussions and provided valuable insight into student and adult collaboration.

Our YATST team developed goals for this year including improving school community communication, implementing restorative justice practices into our student discipline system, and hosting a Design Day in October. The Design Day is where YATST teams from other schools come together to share and learn from each other about their plans that they are implementing in their schools.

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