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Getting to “Y” for Middle School Teams

October 22, 2018
100 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602 United States
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Middle school students serve as leaders in Getting to ‘Y’ as they take steps to strengthen their school and community based on their findings. There is a wealth of information in the biennial YRBS report on the wellness of young people in our state. What it does not include is a thoughtful and informed analysis of why (‘Y’) young people are making either wise or unwise choices. What do students believe would change these statistics for the better?  Who better to tell us than youth themselves?  Getting to ‘Y’ creates an opportunity for young people to take action to shape their own futures.

For the past ten years, leadership teams of students and teachers from 71 Vermont high schools and middle schools have participated in this action research based model. Teams receive training and support to: 

  • Organize a day retreat to analyze the data, producing a “ GTY Executive Summary.” This summary identifies three strengths, three areas of concern, and a preliminary plan of action, based on an exploration of the root causes of the concerns.
  • Host a Dialogue Night to share the “Student Executive Summary” with the greater community and lead meaningful multi-generational discussions.
  • Combine all that they have learned to frame next steps, which the group then implements and assesses throughout the year. 

Who Should Come

This training is for middle school students and teachers, guidance counselors, or other faculty focusing on school climate. The recommended team composition is 1-2 adults and 6-7 youth. This work requires a strong youth-adult partnership, sustained over the course of the year, to be successful.


 Teams should come with:

  • A commitment to implement all phases of this initiative (data analysis, dialogue event, design and implementation of an action plan, and assessment of impact). 
  • A willingness to document the work with pictures and written feedback from participants, which will be summarized and shared in a newsletter. This requires a commitment to on-going communication with the GTY coordinator.

In return, teams can expect:

  • An engaging training day and continued support (both virtual and on-site) as their plans unfold. 
  • A $200 mini-grant sent from UP for Learning to help underwrite the cost of food and materials for planned events. 
  • Publication of a summer newsletter capturing the scope of the work.


Phase 1: Attend the training day.  The orientation day is an interactive day-long workshop. We utilize a training of trainers format, first modeling the materials and tools and then the facilitators reflect on their experience.  The day will conclude with team time to plan how each group will begin the initiative design and implementation process. 

Phase 2: Meet regularly.  Teams will return to their homes school to: conduct a data analysis retreat, host a community dialogue event, develop a plan, move to action and celebrate. Teams are encouraged to have regular meetings to manage the implementation process and ensure the success of these efforts. 


The orientation day will be held at the Capitol Plaza, 100 State Street, Montpelier, VT. Pastries, beverages, and lunch will be provided. Space is limited and registration closes on October 8. 

How do I register?

Step 1:  Register by clicking the link below.

Step 2:  Complete a Principal Signature Page which will be sent to you after registration.

Questions?  Contact Sharon Koller  sharon@upforlearning.org

Getting to “Y”

Venue Name: Capital Plaza Hotel and Conference Center
Address: 100 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602 United States

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