OPS board adding non-voting student representative positions

February 24, 2024 | 12:10 am

Updated February 23, 2024 | 3:56 pm

In an effort to ensure student voices are heard, a pair of non-voting student representative positions are being added to the Owensboro Public Schools Board of Education. 

The OPS board approved the new policy during their Thursday meeting.

“Having a voice from the student body will be very helpful and insightful for us as the board to add that direct experience with issues facing students within the district every day,” said OPS board chair Dr. Jeremy Luckett. “That is why several other districts have already taken this step and why we are excited to add this non-voting member to the board.”

Board member Jeremy Edge has one child in 7th grade and one in 11th grade. He said they can sometimes provide insight that the board might not always consider.

“Having someone living it every day makes a difference,” he said, meaning students experience firsthand any issues that come up and any results from decisions made by the board. “I’m blessed because I can ask my kids and get their input. Having a student voice (advising) the board will help everyone. They may be able to offer something innovative and fresh from a new perspective.”

According to the policy, 2 students who attend either Owensboro High School or Owensboro Innovation Academy may be selected as student board representatives. Since several school districts are represented in the student body at OIA, only students with OHS as their “home school” will be eligible to be nominated and/or elected to the position. 

The student board representatives will serve annually as non-voting advisors to the board. 

“Their involvement is solely for the purpose of providing input from a student’s viewpoint,” according to the policy.

The policy says the students shall be entitled to attend and participate in board meetings held in open session and may express opinions and advise the board on student-related issues as deemed appropriate by the board chair or superintendent. The students will not be permitted to participate in closed sessions and must adhere to the same standards of confidentiality and responsibility as board members.

According to the policy, the Student board representatives must be either sophomores or juniors in good standing to be elected. The election of the representatives will occur during April or May of each school year. (For example, a sophomore or junior seeking a representative seat for the 2024-25 school year will be elected in April/May 2024.)

The representatives must have and maintain an overall grade point average of 2.5 or higher both before the time of their election and during their term of service. The principals or designees of OHS/OIA will validate the eligibility of each nominee and submit them to the superintendent for final approval.

Students in grades 9, 10, and 11 will be eligible to vote in the election of the representatives, with the winners being determined by a simple majority. Each student will serve a 1-year term from July 1 to June 30.

Those seeking more information about the position should contact their school officials. 

February 24, 2024 | 12:10 am

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