A push for higher learning: School Site Council promotes inclusion but also academic challenge

Jessica Xing

On Dec. 7th, School Site Council had a conversation on what school culture meant to them and how they could improve it at MVHS. This conversation was the gateway for a larger “School Plan” a plan created to help improve school climate and student success.

The School Plan is updated every six years, changed to suit any recent developments in the social and academic environments at MVHS. During School Site Council’s last meeting on Feb. 4, School Site Council decided to now update the plan every three years, so that changes made can keep being present and relevant with student life.

According to freshman Anisha Sinha, secretary of School Site Council, the changes made to the School Plan this year focus on this idea of “higher learning”. MVHS is a school full of rigorous academics, and Sinha feels that often this can be discouraging to other students. The idea of higher learning seeks to challenge students academically — hoping to provide a rigorous curriculum that helps students pursue their passions while not overwhelming them.

“We are trying to promote a high learning capacity for every student,” Sinha said. “It doesn’t matter how smart you are, we are just trying to get people to learn at a higher level to help you in the future.”

Girija Deshpande, Chairperson for School Site Council, says an important component in School Plan is inclusion. School Site Council refers to this as the “three legged stool”, as MVHS needs staff, parents, and students to hold it up. School Site Council is looking to pass motions intertwine parents in the loop as well. They want to make sure studnents are connecting with the parents and the faculty at MVHS.

The School plan is broken down into four categories, first of them is What is MVHS doing for students — specifically ELS (low income) students and new English Learners. School Site Council is looking to find solutions to more completely integrate these two student groups into MVHS’ school culture.

Arti Nigam, councilperson of School Site Council and parent at Monta Vista, believes these changes are necessary to help students realize their potential. There are students who struggle, who can be integrated into MVHS — changing school curriculum to challenge students at all intelligence levels helps students learn well and see high school as a growing experience.

“The students who struggle need to feel connected to the school,” Nigam said. “We want them to believe in their ability to be successful.”

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“It’s important for all students to have a positive experience in high school,” Nigam said. “We want to help them achieve their potential, because once you learn to love high school school you are going to learn well and these attitudes are going to carry with you for a long time to come.”