FCPS superintendent meets with Committee on Raising Student Voices

Students discuss experiences and issues in McLean with superintendent

After the meeting, attendees continued smaller conversations about McLean and FCPS as a whole.

FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid came to McLean High School on Nov. 16 to meet with students from McLean’s Committee on Raising Student Voices (CRSV). The meeting was intended to help give Reid a better grasp of McLean’s culture and problems while giving students a platform to converse directly with the board.

Prior to the scheduled discussion, Reid was given a tour of the school by McLean’s principal, Dr. Ellen Reilly. During the tour, Reid stopped by classrooms and chatted with students, teachers and other FCPS staff members, such as custodians.

“[Going into classrooms] gives Dr. Reid a taste of what our culture is like at our school, what our academics look like in our building,” Reilly said.

After the tour, Virginia Delegate Rip Sullivan joined Reid and Reilly in meeting five members of the CRSV. The group immediately launched into discussion, spending a majority of the meeting discussing grading practices at the school and what the county could do to improve student life and increase course selections.

“We didn’t really prepare much for it,” senior CRSV member Ameer Moutaouakil said. “Most of the stuff was just what we know from all of our meetings and from doing student surveys.”

The nature of the conversation allowed the students to use personal anecdotes and specific examples to illustrate perceived issues and paint a picture of what life at the school is like.

“You hear their titles and you’re like, ‘This is an important thing.’ You have to make sure to get the point across,” Moutaouakil said. “Since it was such a short meeting, we tried to mainly focus on what the population thinks of each topic. We did relate our personal experiences throughout the meeting, but we mainly tried to focus on the general public and try to get the point across that helps the most people.”

Throughout the meeting, the students did much of the talking, with Reid, Reilly and Sullivan mainly pitching in to add information to a mentioned point or ask for input on various topics.

“When she was talking, I think the main thing that she was trying to push out was that she is here to hear from us,” Moutaouakil said.

The perspectives shared during the meeting came directly from the mouths of students. From opinions on the county’s new phone policy to what classes they wished they could take, the superintendent was given a more personal, ground-level view of how McLean functions.

“Students talk about what they know,” Reilly said. “While I can speak more globally about the school, they can talk about what’s happening in their classes.”