Hilda L. Solis Learning Academy is a small school, but students and parents can engage in the education and success of students through the Shared Decision Making (SDM) Committee, which is the perfect way to have your voice heard and be involved in making a difference.
SDM Committee involves different school participants cooperating to identify educational issues, define goals, formulate policy, and implement and assess activities to help students reach standards of excellence. Also, SDM is a place to be involved with the teachers, students, and most importantly, the parents of the students who attend the school.
According to Hilda Solis Principal Jose Avila, he and teacher Rose Kwok are co-facilitators of the SDM, along with nine other members that include school staff, students, and parents.
“We focus on school-wide community decision making,” he said. “We focus on academic results, health, safety, and bringing parents/families as partners.”
Some teachers at Hilda Solis said that one issue is that not enough parents are involved in this opportunity. It seems like the reason that some parents aren’t involved is that they are not informed of the things going on in their child’s school, or they simply don’t have the time.
Yiret Solis, a former student at Hilda Solis who was part of SDM, agreed.
“I think not a lot of students know or understand what SDM is,” Solis said. “SDM is used to bring up a lot of topics and how can we help with difficult issues. Certain people have a voice to vote, but it mainly involves the whole school. Its main focus is the students and the school.”
Another teacher at Hilda Solis, Martir Argueta, believes that it is important for both parents and students to be involved.
“I believe the school district should listen to students and take their opinions seriously,” Argueta said.
He wants students to be taken into consideration more and to be able to give their opinions on what they want or need at school.
“A school isn’t made by teachers,” Argueta said. “The students shape the school and it should be a second home for them.”
Hopefully, more people will want to be part of this special council that can make major changes at the school. Overall, all the decisions made in the school have to be reasonable for parents and everyone in the community. When the decisions are made, they are sent to the Board of Education, where they could make a larger impact on students at all schools in the district.