Eagle Voice


Vishalli Alagappan, Staff Writer

Principal Robb Virgin describes the Eagle Voice as a “student-led, crowd-sourced, innovation event.” Now, what does that mean? Crowd-sourcing is when the leadership poses open-ended questions to the populace, or “crowd,” to assimilate new and unique ideas about certain topics, in our case, about improving the EPHS experience and meaningful learning in schools.

The Eagle Voice initiative is a three step process. The preliminary idea submission, the down selection voting, and implementation. From Dec. 3 to Dec. 14, students will be able to submit ideas that answer the all-encompassing question:“What would you like to change to make our school better?” When we get back from winter break, we’ll have voting on which ideas you like best. The voting will take place through a process dubbed pair-wise voting. Students will be presented with two ideas at a time, and they are to click on the choice they prefer. Immediately, they are provided with another pair. The implementation, however, is much more abstract in regards to time and ultimately depends on what kind of changes the students want to see at EPHS.

The inspiration for this initiative stems from the EPHS student survey and the teachers’ Eagle’s Challenge from last year. The EPHS student survey was a survey consisting of 36 questions posed to every student at the high school. As Virgin was analyzing and interpreting the results, he observed that out of the 36 questions, the “worst response” was for the statement “I see connections between what I’m learning and my life outside of school.” To improve on meaningful learning, Virgin believes that “we should go back to the kids and get their ideas on it.” The Eagle Voice initiative, at its conception, was to primarily acquire ideas to increase meaningful learning at EPHS. However, the initiative has evolved to include ideas for broadly improving the whole EPHS experience.

The Eagle’s Challenge is the smaller open submission survey for the faculty of EPHS. This survey was so successful that Virgin is recreating the same with the student populace. The new CORE was a direct result of the Eagle’s Challenge. Virgin is repeating the survey for the teachers this year.

To ensure that the Eagle Voice is of the students, by the students, and for the students, Virgin has selected a leadership of 42 students. These 42 students, representatives from all four grades, are further split into three teams: the project management, marketing and communication, and the idea monitoring teams. The project management team makes sure that the survey and the voting sail through smoothly. The marketing and communication team advertises and ensures that almost all the students have knowledge of and partake in the survey. The idea-monitoring team weeds out the joke ideas and assimilates the top five ideas from the open survey and presents them for voting.

As for the implementation, it simply depends on the ideas submitted in the survey. There is no limit for the end result. Virgin affirms, “I’m willing to take it as far as I can.” It can be as simple as changing the lights in the parking lot or changing curriculum.