Andres Rivera, a senior at Maine South High School, was accepted into the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Student Advisory Council.
The ISBE Student Advisory Council consists of 21 high school students. Rivera is one of 11 new students that were selected from a group of state-wide applicants.
The ISBE Student Advisory Council was created in 1975 so that high school students from all around Illinois could address educational concerns and ideas to the ISBE. The ISBE is in charge of creating policies throughout the year so the Council’s goal is to offer different perspectives on how to improve students’ success.
Last year, students focused on matters such as mental health, college and career readiness, technology in classrooms, and special education. Rivera says that he is interested in several challenges facing students and discussed many of those during the first two days of meetings this week. “For me personally, I’m really involved in the mental health aspect and restorative justice between students and the school,” Rivera says. “The third issue that I am really interested in is the equity of resources across schools in the state.” Restorative justice refers to a new approach that encourages students to resolve conflicts on their own in small groups..”
The first ISBE Student Advisory Council meetings were held in Springfield, Illinois on September 17-18 of 2019, and upcoming meetings will also be held there on January 14-15 and March 17-18 of 2020. At these meetings, the students will meet State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala and members of the state board to discuss their prepared opinions and questions.