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Welcome to the WJUSD Office of Youth Engagement!

Our District is focused on growing and improving opportunities for all youth to experience feeling heard, feeling responsible, feeling connected, and feeling valued -- in their classroom, on their school campus, and within our District.
What is Youth Engagement?

What is Youth Engagement?

Youth engagement is when young people have opportunities to:
  • Make decisions
  • Lead
  • Provide voice and input
  • Fill roles of responsibility, and 
  • Have more choices available to them in their learning and in their lives.
why is youth engagement important?

why is youth engagement important?

  • It helps all students develop into healthier and more successful adults
  • It more effectively engages all students in their learning, and, most importantly
  • It helps all of our students feel like they matter.
Our WJUSD community decided that youth engagement was so critical to the success of our students that it is spelled out in one of our Local Control and Accountability (LCAP) goals, LCAP 4. Having Youth Engagement as one of our goals enables us to put more resources into making these kinds of opportunities happen for as many students as possible.
Youth engagement opportunities

Youth engagement opportunities

Youth Advisory Councils
Not to be confused with ASB or student council, Youth Advisory Councils are designed to be a place where students can raise issues or concerns about their school and then be heard by supportive adults. From there, youth and adults can work to problem-solve the youth-identified issues together.
Superintendent's Youth Advisory Council
The Superintendent's Youth Advisory Council is a newly formed group of WJUSD students who will meet regularly with our Superintendent about school-related issues in Woodland. This group will collaborate on improvements that will positively impact student learning and engagement throughout the Woodland Joint Unified School District.
The Superintendent's Youth Advisory is composed of 20 students from the following schools: Douglass, Lee, Cache Creek High School, Pioneer High School, and Woodland High School.
Peer Youth programs
Many of our schools offer programs where students support other students, such as:
  • Peer tutors
  • Peer mentors 
  • Conflict managers
More information on youth engagement

More information on youth engagement

Woodland Youth Plan

In 2021, WJUSD teamed up with community partners (City of Woodland, County of Yolo, Woodland Library, Woodland Police Dept, Woodland Fire Dept, City Council) to begin the process of composing a comprehensive plan for the youth of the community of Woodland. This plan, now in its final draft form, will be approved and signed onto by all relevant partners so that in the coming years, we can all be on the same page about what young people need and deserve. Guided by this plan, we can all do our part to unify our systems and hold ourselves accountable to making it happen.

Professional Development 
Staff receive ongoing (and intensive) training in strategies for incorporating youth voice, responsibility, and leadership into their classrooms, and schoolwide.

The Youth Development Institute (or YDI)

The YDI is a unique 4-day learning community where teams of staff and administrators from school sites focus intensively on the 5 youth development supports and opportunities that all youth need in order to become successful, healthy adults.

These are:
1) Emotional, cultural, and physical safety
2) Positive relationships between students, and between students and staff
3) Youth engagement (roles of responsibility, youth voice, and youth decision-making)
4) Community involvement; and
5) Skill-building that is challenging and relevant  
Follow up work from this learning community leads to implementation of more strategies at school sites that reduce barriers for learning by:
  • Building youth up
  • Positively impacting behavior and motivation, and 
  • Increasing youth’s sense of connectedness to their school  

Our first Districtwide YDI was held in July 2022. Teams of staff from seven schools attended (Cache Creek High School, Woodland High School, Beamer Elementary, Whitehead Elementary, Zamora Elementary, Sci Tech Elementary, and Freeman Elementary) along with a team from Friday Night Live (one of our District community partners).