By Mark Cluff

There are going to be discussions on improved civics classes and lessons during the Utah Legislative session now under way after all that has happened in our county over the last year.  It is felt that students do not understand how our constitutional republic works and are not prepared to be “good” citizens.  What do they expect from an educational system where there is no freedom and the student is controlled and forced to do whatever they are told?

At Alpine Valley Academy, students live and learn within a constitutional republic with full agency.  Our School Council is made up of all students and staff where everyone gets one vote.  This is our legislative body where rules are created which do not conflict with our school constitution, budgets approved, leadership voted in, and is the governing body of the school.  We have an Executive Council which runs the day to day operations of the school and has veto power over the School Council.  And the School Council can override the veto.  

If a student or staff member breaks a rule, they will go before the Judicial Council, where they have a voice to explain what happened from their point of view.  They can plead guilty or not guilty.  If they plead not guilty, the council after hearing all the evidence can vote them guilty or accept their plea.  If they are guilty, there is a consequence.  Also, the individual can appeal to the School Council and have them review the complaint.  There is so much that students and staff are learning from this governance model.  Mainly, the students are learning that they are responsible for the school governance and their personal governance, which leads to greater self-reliance and self-confidence.

Published January 25, 2021

1 Comment

Anna · January 25, 2021 at 10:02 pm

Thank you Mark. I have seen my children develop self-awareness through their experiences at AVA and I know the government system has been instrumental in their development in compassion.

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