The Tourtellotte Memorial High School Leadership Team, or the TSLT, is an innovative student organization that was born six years ago. The team’s two advisors recognized student leaders were expected to produce outcomes with little to no formal training on how to lead initiatives effectively. Coupled with the burgeoning research on the power of student voice, the TSLT was born with strong support from administration.
At the foundation of this innovative team is a unique set of by-laws that brings together student leaders from grades 9-12, and from a variety of student organizations, to promote student voice and student action in their school and local community.
The TSLT meets bi-weekly with administration to address student concerns, many of which come from student voice forms developed as a mechanism to get input from the student body. The minutes of these meetings are communicated to students, staff, and the Board of Education by student BOE Liaisons. Some student-led reforms have included: schedule changes, discipline issues, cafeteria choices, the school’s beverage policy, academic programming, transportation issues, and policies around grade reporting.
Additionally, the team meets monthly for a half day in-school workshops, during which they are given leadership training and develop action plans to address the changes they would like to see in their school. From day one, the team identified that there was an inaccurate image of the school in the community that was affecting school climate and enrollment. TSLT committees were formed, resulting in various student action plans. The following student-run events have since been implemented: a transition program for eighth graders, a freshmen orientation, an eighth grade shadowing program, a leadership training workshop for eighth graders, and several community outreach programs such as Expo Night and participation in Thompson Community Day. Other projects have included working on school policies, improving school spirit, and increasing school engagement and student voice.
This year, the TSLT will host its first regional leadership conference, called the Eastern Connecticut Student Leader Conference on April 10, 2019. Student leaders have determined the program, which includes a keynote speaker, ice breakers, a student panel, and workshops. All aspects of the planning of the conference from communication with potential keynote speakers and area schools, marketing, developing student panel questions and workshop activities have been completed by members of the TSLT who will facilitate the conference. Response has been very positive with many schools already accepting the invitation.
TSLT by laws:
Cindy Ouillette | firstname.lastname@example.org | (860) 923-9303
- Critical Thinking
- Social & Emotional Learning