DDSB Student Leaders Discuss Student Voice, Well-Being and Equity

Posted On Thursday October 15, 2020
2020-2021 Student Trustees with Norah and Chris-edit
(L-R) Student Trustee for Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge Logan Keeler, DDSB Chair and Trustee for the City of Pickering Chris Braney, Student Trustee for Ajax and Pickering Aaliyah Jaleel, DDSB Acting Director of Education Norah Marsh, and Student Trustee for Oshawa and Whitby Arpita Savaliya pose for a photo at the September Board Meeting.

Student Trustees and Student Senators collaborated for their first virtual symposium of the year

Arpita Savaliya, Logan Keeler, and Aaliyah Jaleel are the Durham District School Board (DDSB) Student Trustees for the 2020-2021 school year. Savaliya attends O’Neill CVI and represents students in Oshawa and Whitby, Keeler attends Brock High School and represents students in Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge, and Jaleel attends Dunbarton High School and represents students in Ajax and Pickering. All three are Grade 12 students.

On October 1, they were elated to host their first virtual symposium and welcome the 2020-2021 Student Senators.

“The intention of the event was to stimulate discussion regarding the current situation of schools, reflecting on both the positive aspects as well as areas of improvement. Sharing their experiences, we wanted Student Senators to return to their schools with further open-mindedness as well as a newfound understanding of how to best represent their peers,” explains Savaliya.

Using Google Meet, approximately 30 students got together to break the ice and discuss important topics impacting DDSB schools. Superintendent of Education Stephen Nevills joined the meeting to bring greetings and welcome student leaders to the Board.  

Student Engagement Opportunities

“Our three Student Trustees eagerly planned a professional, interactive, virtual symposium to welcome back and introduce new Student Senators from across the system to their roles as key student advisors.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, their experiences and the collective voices of students from across our system will help guide our work and shape the future of education in the DDSB,” notes Superintendent Nevills.

In small groups of six to seven students, attendees brainstormed ideas for the three working groups within the Student Senate: Student Voice, Well-Being, and Equity. The students used Google Jamboards to display their ideas as virtual post-it notes. To end the night, students broke into their regional groups to play some games and to discuss how the school year has been so far and any issues Student Senators may be facing.

Savaliya says the overall goal of the first virtual symposium is to establish a strong connection between the Student Senators and Student Trustees and ensure that a trustworthy and open line of communication is always maintained. She continues, “We also wanted to allow Student Senators to meet each other and have the opportunity to be creative and come up with ideas for the year with respect to our working groups.”

There are 43 DDSB Student Senators across the system for the 2020-2021 school year.