Student Council Ideas for Elementary Schools
By Mary Montero
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Does your school have a student council? Once reserved for middle and high school students, it’s now more common to have a student council at the elementary level as well. A student council can provide a valuable platform for students to develop important life skills while making a positive impact on their school community. Our school has hosted a student council for years, and for the first time ever, I’m one of the leaders of it this year! It’s been a fun adventure, and I have so many student council ideas to implement (eventually….!).
The Benefits of A Student Council
The student council offers numerous benefits to both the students and the school community as a whole. It can:
- Provide a platform for student voices and ideas to be heard
- Empower students to express their ideas and suggestions regarding school events and activities
- Foster a sense of ownership and involvement among students, promoting a positive school culture and a stronger sense of community.
- Allow students to participate in coordinated community service efforts.
Being a part of the student council also cultivates leadership skills in students. They learn to collaborate, communicate, and make decisions collectively, honing their abilities to lead and inspire others. Serving on the student council can instill a sense of responsibility and accountability as students take on roles and tasks that contribute to the function of their school.
How Students Are Selected for Student Council
Student council elections can sometimes become popularity contests, but there are several ways to avoid that. At our school, our student council is made up of students in grades 4-6. Anyone can join, but sixth graders hold campaigns for office positions and give speeches to the fourth and fifth graders. Having students in different grades cast votes helps prevent students from only voting for their closest friends in the same grade.
I’ve also seen schools do a combination of student and teacher votes. At one school, students complete applications, receive endorsements, and apply for specific committees on the student council. Then, their peers and teachers select the final council. Some may even “interview” for certain positions!
Our student council positions include:
President: This student plans for and presents at meetings, oversees the other committees, and is a general point person for the student council.
Vice President: This student works very closely with the president to complete his or her duties. They run the student council meetings together!
Assembly Coordinator: Our school has monthly assemblies in support of our Responsive Classroom work. This student works with the leaders of the student council to plan a productive and engaging assembly for the whole school. Then, they get to be center stage at the assembly and lead different parts of it!
Head of Teacher Appreciation: This student leads a committee of students who plan monthly acts of teacher appreciation. They often include a small candy bar with a punny saying!
School Ambassadors: This student leads a committee of students who put a plan in place for welcoming new students, both at the beginning of the year, and if they arrive throughout the year.
We have a few other student council positions, and most support the committees described below:
Student Council Committees
Having a variety of different committees is another way to be more inclusive. Our school has one teacher who is the “head’ of the student council, but several other teachers volunteer to help with committees. Students only serve on one committee per year, so this is a great way to allow more students to have the opportunity to serve on the student council. We combine student council with K-Kids, so it is very community service-based.
Here are some student council committee ideas:
Morning Welcome Committee
Students on the morning welcome committee are responsible for setting a positive tone every day. They greet students in the hallway each morning with positive affirmations and high-fives. The same students also take care of important morning duties, like raising the flag or bringing in the sidewalk cones. These students are also responsible for the morning announcements. They read the quote of the day, birthdays, reminders, etc.
New Student Welcome Committee
Changing schools in the middle of the year can be intimidating, but having a new student welcome committee can help. This select group of students will give tours, be lunch buddies for the first week, and play with the new student at recess.
School Spirit Events
Just think of how many school events occur each school year and all the work involved! Your student council members can help organize and advertise important events like back-to-school bash, Red Ribbon week, holiday events (trunk or treat, snowball dance, etc.), end-of-the-year picnics, and more. Our school spirit committee also makes encouraging signs for state testing week! This post has even more ideas for your next school-wide event.
Just like the school spirit committee, students can also help with other school-wide events like the talent show, school dances, and special guests.
Philanthropy and Fundraising
Another committee can be responsible for all philanthropy and fundraising needs. Bake sales, collection drives (food, clothing, books), walk-a-thons, and more all need students to promote and pump up participation. This is a big job! They are in charge of creating posters for advertising the events, writing scripts to share about the fundraising events on the announcements, and “news flash” alerts in the newspaper. This committee also goes into individual classrooms to share about current initiatives and answer student questions!
Whether your school sends a newsletter weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly, students LOVE to help! This committee can be responsible for the entire newsletter or just a section of it. They can also digitally design the newsletter and deliver paper copies to each classroom. They are also responsible for taking pictures throughout the year and coming up with different sections of the paper (Student of the Semester, Kindness Corner, Nature News, etc.). We designed this year’s newspaper on Canva, and it was super user-friendly!
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and it means even more when coming from students! Students can write notes for school staff, deliver treats on a rolling cart, etc., to show staff members just how valuable they are.
We also added a kindness committee thanks to this post from Head Over Heels for Teaching. EVERYONE is on the Kindness Squad, and it’s a mega favorite! This committee stands out at the car line on student council meeting mornings and greets parents and students with happy posters, songs, cheers, and general positivity. It’s a HUGE hit from both the squad and the rest of the student body!
More School Community Ideas
Are you part of our Free Inspired in Upper Elementary Facebook group? It’s the perfect place to be inspired! You can visit this post to read how other schools run their student councils. Here are a few of their ideas:
“Our student council will do Mix it up lunches and grade levels get mixed at lunch and SC members play Would You Rather Games during lunch or other types of games to sometimes break up the monotony of lunch.” – Angela C.
“We do 2 dances for grades 6-8 throughout the hear. We have bake sales (last few years store bought candy, snacks, and treats). We took our first field trip to pack food and then went to lunch. Our student council plans red ribbon week, all of our themed weeks, and anything else that we can get our hands on!” – Crystal W.
“Our student leadership students research and vote on an encouraging quote each month. They make posters of the quotes and hang them around the school. You could also plan a service project like collecting food for a local shelter, or making tie blankets for Project Linus.” – Mallory C.
“If you have a cancer infusion center nearby you can make bags for the patients. I had my class do this for several years after my bout with cancer. The patients loved them. We included a snack, a drink, chapstick, small sanitizer, and tried to get a hat or scarf. The kids decorated the bags or put uplifting messages in them. We received some beautiful thank you notes from patients. I received one when I was a patient from a different school. Picture of the nurses with the bags being delivered.” – MJ M.
“We meet before school, so at the end of our meetings we cheer during student drop off and welcomw kids to school. We sponsor 1-2 evening events like a movie night and dance. We also make videos about school rules that teachers show during their morning meetings.” – Bonnie J.
“Our student council does morning announcements. They alternate between someone leading the school in the pledge and school motto, announcing the lunch for the day and wishing Happy birthdays. They make cards for each student at our school. Birthday kids are invited to the office to pick up their card with a small treat.” – Jessica W.
“We have taken responsibility for all the main hall bulletin boards. We change them out monthly to fit with our school themes and events. We are going to try community outreach passion projects this year.” – Melanie S.
I’m so glad you are here. I’m a current gifted and talented teacher in a small town in Colorado, and I’ve been in education since 2009. My passion (other than my family and cookies) is for making teachers’ lives easier and classrooms more engaging.