High School Leadership Retreat
From OpenContent Curriculum
This section will offer planning ideas to create a high school leadership retreat. The intent of the leadership retreat is to help students have a more active role in how their school operates. Ideally, the leadership retreat takes place at the beginning of the year to set the stage for the upcoming school year.
The success of any retreat lies in the planning and the details. With guidance and parameters set by the staff, it is worth the time and effort to let students do most of the planning. It is in the planning that students get their first leadership experiences.
Attached you will find suggested ideas, resources, and planning tips for administrators for including a high school
Sample Introduction Letter:
This letter is designed to be sent home to parents explaining the high school leadership retreat. The details of the letter may change, but the overall flow can be used.
Planning Reminders & Considerations:
- Use feedback from previous year's retreat to refine processes & activities
- Students plan EVERYTHING including:
- session ideas
- start & end times (sessions, meals & breaks)
- roles and responsibilities for set-up and clean-up
- meal preparation & clean-up
This year we are planning to let the kids do the planning. Here is the preliminary details we've come up with. We broke down the responsibilities into three committees the students will sign up for. We defined the job each committee must do, and the non-negotiables each committee must meet.
One thing that may prevent schools from initiating or developing a leadership retreat is the answering the question "What will the students and staff talk about?" It is important to have focused 30 to 40 minute sessions planned throughout the day (see sample schedule).
Drug & Alcohol Awareness
Career/Vocation Planning (possible guest speakers)
- University of Alaska Anchorage/Fairbanks
- Northwest Campus
- Job Corps
- Armed Forces
- Alaska State Troopers
- IRA Representative
- City/local government representatives
Review Student Handbook
How to Participate in Education
Small Group Feedback on Specific Topics
Things to Include in High School Leadership Retreat:
We've designed our high school leadership retreat to include team and leadership building activities through formal process, guest speakers, small group discussion, and healthy informal activities. Though the mood and atmosphere created is a relaxed non-threatening one, the activities whether formal or informal, are planned and kept to timelines throughout the retreat.
The following are suggestions for resources and guest speakers:
Langford Quality Tools
Reinventing Schools Coalition
BSSD Educational Support & Curriculum Department
Alaska State Troopers
City Government Representative/City Council
Village Public Safety Officer
City Police Officer
Job Corps Representative
Northwest Campus Representative
Career Professional & Trades
Local School Board Member
Local AEC Member
BSSD District Office Staff
It is very important to get feedback from both students and staff immediately following the leadership retreat. Getting feedback is an important aspect of the overall process to celebrate things that went well and offer a chance to identify opportunities for improvement. Attached are sample plus/delta activities used following a high school leadership retreat. It is suggested that the plus/delta tools be archived and used to plan upcoming retreats. A plus/delta was done for both students and staff.