League of Student and Government Leaders
Each group of students studies an issue that the board is working on using the actual documents and information their mentors use. In recent years St. Joseph's students have analyzed the Gillson Park Lakefront Plan, Wilmette Junior High students have prioritized capital budget items for the VIllage of Wilmette and Marie Murphy students have grappled with issues arising from their district's unique structure straddling several communities.
The students not only learn how their study of the U.S. Constitution relates to their daily lives but also learn how to participate in a meeting using Robert's Rules of Order, the ramifications of the Illinois Open Meetings Act and the skills needed to negotiate with a range of people having different perspectives.
The program culminates with a mock board meeting where the 8th graders take on their mentors' roles in discussing the issues of the day.
Each student is assigned to act as a member of one of the governing bodies. Throughout the fall they will participate in four workshops. The workshops build to the final event of the program, a mock board meeting for each of the governing bodies.
The League spearheads the program and participates directly by teaching public meeting management skills based on Roberts Rules of Order. It also oversees organization of each of the five programs and coordinates content so that all students come away with a better understanding of how government meetings, budgets and professional management activities are conducted.
The program will start the week of January 13 (one week after school resumes post-Winter Break) and end the last week of February/first week of March, before ISATs are administered.
Look for an information sheet available at fall conferences Nov. 7 & 8.
Forty 8th graders from Wilmette Junior High School, Marie Murphy School and St. Joseph's School participated. Each student was assigned the role of a specific member of one of the governing bodies. All meetings were broadcast on our local cable access channel.
At the mock Village Board Meeting, students from Wilmette Junior High School had to evaluate, rank and decide on equipment purchases for the Village within the constraints of a limited budget. Students at Marie Murphy School, representing District 37 Board members and administration, reviewed recent ISAT scores and determined what if any additional extracurricular clubs should be offered.
At the mock Park District Board meeting, shown below, St. Joseph's students discussed the pros and cons of their suggested improvements to the Lakefront Master Plan.
The League spearheads the program and participates directly by teaching public meeting management skills based on Roberts Rules of Order. It also oversees organization of each of the programs and coordinates content so that all students come away with a better understanding of how government meetings, budgets and professional management activities are conducted.
Special thanks to the teachers and coordinators at each of the schools, staff at Village Hall and Wilmette Community Television and our elected officials who made the program such a success this year.
The LSGL committee encourages everyone to check out the session posted on the Village of Wilmette website.