BALTIMORE COUNTY — At tables stretching across two boardrooms, two dozen middle and high school students from 18 schools gathered at school system headquarters for the first meeting of the Baltimore County Student Councils’ Board of Selected Students (BOSS).
“BOSS is an extremely dynamic and multifaceted board in which student council representatives from middle and high schools can come together to network, troubleshoot and collaborate in order to improve their own student councils at their schools,” said Samantha Warfel, BCSC vice president and a freshman at Hereford High.
“This year, I hope that each and every attendee gains new knowledge, leadership skills, and relationships. I look forward to a year of growth and lots of fun!”
The first meeting, led by Warfel, began with introductions and an icebreaker.
Next, Angela Qian, BCSC president and a senior at Dulaney High, presented an update on the next process for choosing the next Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB).
Every BCPS middle and high school student will have the opportunity to vote online for the new SMOB, and lessons about leadership and civic engagement will be woven into English language arts and social studies classes.
All students will be able to watch the finalist candidates give speeches, submit questions to the finalists, and watch a video of finalists answering the questions.
Qian encouraged sophomore and junior students interested in applying to alert their principals as soon as possible and to be on the lookout for the early December application release. Applications will be due on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020.
Next, she shared an update on the BCSC’s new action-oriented committees: General Services, Infrastructure, and Environmental.
General Services will look at technology, school lunches, dress codes and issues that affect students day to day. Infrastructure will focus on mental health and safety issues. Environmental will make a presentation about student’s environmental concerns to BCPS and Baltimore County leaders.
Qian concluded her presentation by encouraging students to participate in the December General Assembly meeting and the Maryland Association of Student Councils Fall Leadership Conference (which will be held on Nov. 23, at Perry Hall High).
Warfel then divided BOSS into four groups for discussions about spirit weeks and homecomings. Students have lively discussions about their school’s traditions and student participation.
As the first meeting drew to a close, a student raised the issue of overcrowded hallways in her school that sometimes make it hard for students to get to their next classes on time. Other BOSS participants quickly joined in with ideas like staggered class releases and one-way hallways and staircases.
It was a quick example of the usefulness of BOSS as a way to identify systemwide issues and have students participate in solving them.
BOSS will meet again on Dec. 3, Feb. 11, and March 31.