Student Powered Improvement Logo Menu
At the start
Early on
Moving along
Well along
Students on stairs

From your perspective, your school is:

At the start of a student-powered improvement journey

Your school may have glimmers of experience with student-powered improvement.

There is so much possibility ahead.

Step 1

Process your assessment results

Reflect & Discuss
To process your assessment results as a team:


  1. Set the tone. Ensure agreements are in place for an open, honest conversation.
  2. Individually review results. Take a few minutes to review and reflect on the team’s responses.
  3. Report results. Each person shows or visually reports their results to one another: At the start, Early on, Moving along, Well along.
  4. Describe results. Without moving to explanation or discussion, describe what you see across responses: What is the same and what is different?
  5. Interpret results. Suggested prompts include:
    1. What perspectives and identities did we each bring to this assessment? For example: role, race, gender, experience?
    2. How did our perspectives and identities shape how we answered questions?
    3. Why do we think we got these results?
    4. Are we surprised by the results? Do we agree with the results?
    5. If we took the assessment again in a year, what results would we hope to see?
  6. Keep going. Move to the next step.


To process your assessment results as an individual, consider:


  1. What perspectives and identities did I bring to this assessment? (For example: role, race, gender, experience?)
  2. How did my perspectives and identities shape how I answered questions?
  3. Am I surprised by the results? Do I agree with the results?
  4. Are there other adults and students who could take this assessment to compare results among people with different perspectives and identities?
Step 2

Identify Your Why

Reflect & Discuss

It is important to ground in a shared why as you embark on a student-powered improvement journey. With your team, read the list below of some reasons why schools partner with students. Choose 2-3 statements that best reflect your team’s why and discuss your choices.

  • The problem we have to solve can only be solved if students are involved. 
  • We want to shift the power dynamics in our school. 
  • We want to create a more inclusive school. 
  • The solutions to the problem will be stronger if students are centered in the design. 
  • We want to give voice to those who have been traditionally unheard. 
  • We know adults don’t have all the answers. 
  • We’ve already seen youth and adult partnerships work. 
  • Other (add your own reason) 

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Step 3

Explore the possibilities

The Student-Powered Improvement collection of case studies can offer ideas and inspiration for getting started.

Review these case studies as a group, or “jigsaw” the case studies by dividing into three groups to read and report out on the main ideas. 

Case study: Empathy interviews

Case study: Student voice 

Case study: Feedback partners 

Reflect & Discuss

From each case study:

  • What did we like? Learn? Wonder? 
  • What are we inspired to try? 

If you have time, explore even more of the case studies in the collection

Step 4

Take Action

Make a student-powered improvement plan using the guide below
Create an Action Plan
  1. What is the problem we’re trying to solve with students? 
  2. Which group(s) of students will we prioritize? 
  3. What will our student-powered improvement strategies look like? Do our strategies resemble any of the case studies?
  4. How will we recruit students
  5. What resources do we need? 
  6. What’s our first step? When will we take it? 
  7. What will success look like? How will we know? 
  8. How will we deeply attend to the Guiding Principles of student-powered improvement? 

Download the questions 

I think that students designing solutions for the problems that they're most connected to is really important.