Starting out with six high school students under the YATST umbrella three years ago, the group now known as Bridging The Gap are setting their sights on even bigger possibilities for our school’s future. The group, called “Bridging The Gap,” is new this year. It is the follow-up group to U-32’s involvement with YATST (Youths and Adults Transforming Schools Together) “Splitting with YATST was a bold move but I have complete confidence that this group will achieve so much more on their own terms,” said Scott Harris, the BTG faculty advisor.
BTG is continuing the work of the YATST group, “The YATST group was focused on the ‘four R’s: relationship, responsibility, rigor, and relevance.’ I think with BTG, we want to focus on relationship and relevance” said senior group member Ellie Stroh. “Our work is reflected in the name of our group. We want to bridge the gap between the teachers and the students. We have identified a disconnect between how students want to learn and how teachers are teaching. It’s important to recognize that neither group is at fault, and we need to work together to fix it.” When talking to BTG members you can really tell how passionate they are about the work this group is doing. The main focus of the group is to continue fostering better communication between students and faculty at U-32. In the last three years YATST has attended conferences all over the state to gain tools to help them facilitate this discussion.
Many of the group members have said that they like being their own independent group focusing on just U-32. “We can specialize our work to better the needs of the U-32 community and school,” said junior member Alex Hepp. The student involvement in our schools politics is key to hearing the voices of everyone. This group in particular has the ability to change the way our school communicates. They said their agenda or “gameplan” for this school year is, “We brought in twelve new members. This will bring in fresh ideas. We really want to focus on building up the reputation of the group, and hopefully foster some good conversation between the students and faculty.”
The Bridging The Gap group is currently looking for another faculty advisor to continue the work started by Assistant Principal Jessica Borowitz, who left U-32 last year. “Jessica was a really great advisor, and with a strong connection to the administration we were able to get a lot done. I hope another teacher in the school is able to step up. The more staff we have invested the more power for change we have.” said Stroh. The group is excited to accept a new faculty member with even more ideas.