Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together

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Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together

YOUTH AND ADULTS TRANSFORMING SCHOOLS TOGETHER fosters engagement in learning by increasing rigor, relevance, relationships, and shared responsibility (4Rs). Based on the 4Rs framework, student and teacher teams use Action Research to understand issues that impact learning from multiple perspectives and then become agents of change.

Today’s workforce demands different skills and knowledge than were needed in the past. By bringing youth and adults together to elevate youth voice and youth-adult partnership in learning and decision-making, we can deliver on the deep, powerful learning required to meet 21st-century challenges.

YATST fosters engagement in learning by increasing rigor, relevance, relationships, and shared responsibility (4 Rs) in YATST schools.  This is the research-based framework for learning, engagement and school transformation.


In YATST, we use ACTION Research in a deliberate and purposeful way to understand issues that we care about from multiple perspectives. Importantly, it is a way to gather insight and ideas from others that are interested in the same issue and invite them to participate in what we care about.


Schools are supported by high-impact training, on- and off-site coaching, facilitation training, resource development, documentation and evaluation, and development of a professional learning community.

Contact Harry Frank

Phone: 802-989-4913



What are people saying about YATST?

“I’m a lot more confident now because of it. And there are other factors that play into that confidence. But I think it sort of stemmed from being a part of that group. I had never had anything like that before in my life really.”

-former YATST student

This group, YATST, can make a big change. And if you stay with it, it can make a change in you!


—student reflection

I used to be more of a strong leader, telling people what to do. Now that I’ve learned to facilitate, I help other people to work together. 

—Blue Mountain Union YATST student

I now know that education is a collaborative process between students and adults working together . . . . I know that meaningful action can be taken by anyone and that [it] is an important part of democracy. . . . I want to learn more about the way Vermont’s education system works and how it could work better. I also want to learn how to take national action from a small state’s perspective.

--Twinfield youth YATST member

Action Examples

Student led faculty meetings to introduce the 4 Rs framework and analyze school data.
Development of a mid-semester feedback system so that all students are able to provide feedback about classroom instruction and experience the impact of their voices for the balance of the semester.
Student introduction to the Rigor/Relevance Framework to peers as a means for on-going feedback and assessment of classroom instruction. This is happening in conjunction with faculty development regarding this framework.
YATST students are leading Principal Roundtables on a monthly basis to engage students in school decisions.

YATST In the News