Students present online learning ideas during HUSD Student Advisory Council

HEMET, Calif. —  Schools within Hemet Unified School District have made great strides in transitioning classes to online learning; however, as with anything new, there has been some learning along the way.

On Monday, Nov. 16, eight HUSD students, all members of the Superintendent’s Student
Advisory Council, met with 80 HUSD staff members in an online, virtual forum to discuss online learning and how it can be improved for the 22,000 students served by HUSD as well as the district’s staff.

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According the Hemet Unified School District public spokesperson Alexandrea Sponheim, the idea of this collaborative effort came from Tahquitz High School senior Cameron Canada during a recent Superintendent Student Advisory Council meeting.

During that online meeting, Superintendent, Dr. Christi Barrett, asked students about their experiences with online learning and what challenges they and their classmates were facing.

Eight students, all members of the HUSD’s Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, met with 80 HUSD staff members in an online, virtual forum to discuss online learning and how it can be improved for district’s 22,000 students.

Using their personal experiences, students shared their ideas to help other students with workload, a student’s connection to their school, and support for students’ social-emotional health.

Canada also said it would be helpful if students had the opportunity to talk to their teachers and Principals about their challenges. 

Based on that meeting, and moved by the students’ passion and solution-oriented mindset, Dr. Barrett organized an online, two-hour meeting between the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and members from each of the eight high schools to work together to create solutions to improve online learning for its students. 

After a presentation from Dr. Barrett and her student advisory council, each high school group met in breakout rooms with their student representative.

Staff members were then able to ask the students more detailed questions about their experiences and run ideas of proposed solutions by them. Within the breakout rooms, students and staff were also able to discuss their personal struggles and work to support each other as they talked about the next steps and implementing their ideas. 

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“One of the greatest experiences I’ve had in my professional career is having a student advisory council,” Dr. Barrett later shared. “The wisdom and passion each of these students have shared continues to give me insight and create ways in which we can better serve our students.”

“I am so grateful for each of them and want to thank Alexandra Cosma, Alyssa Hamlett, Aurora Thomson, Brooke Scribner, Cameron Canada, Drake Colice, Haley Richardson, and Juan Rodriguez for their honesty and solution-oriented mindset,”  added Barrett.

“Hemet Unified is excited to implement strategies discussed with student representatives and continue to work together to make changes that will benefit the 22,000 students within HUSD,” said Sponheim.


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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.

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