Conduct Design Camp: Provide a Platform for Student Involvement with School Decisions

Latinx female teacher listening to a diverse group of high school students as they sit in a circle and share ideas.

The true strength in our classroom lies in the collaboration of learners, not in the knowledge of one expert.

– unknown


Identify Students and Counselors / Teachers

The student to counselor / teacher ratio should be 3:1.
For best results, gather a wide arena of student participants to represent various student segments. Consider placing emphasis on the underserved student population.

The practice of being aware of who participates, and who does not participate, is central to Liberatory Design. In fact, the most important consideration is not how many students—but which students are invited and included. Carefully considered, a small group of participants might reveal as much or more as a large group.

Meeting Time

Consider meeting (in person or virtually, depending on your school’s protocols) for:

  • 3 consecutive days
  • 2.5 hours each day


The conversations should be conducted similar to an Empathy Interview using open-ended questions in order to elicit stories from students and uncover unacknowledged needs the school faces.

Consider 4-8 questions using stems such as:
• Tell me about a time when…
• Tell me about the last time you…
• What are your best/worst experience(s) with __?
• Can you share a story that would help me understand more about…?


Collect empathy data as a team, as the experience of listening to a story is as impactful as the data itself. Save time for the team to share stories and reflect on the experiences before, during, and after interviews.

What is Dallas County Promise?

Dallas County Promise is a coalition of school districts, colleges, universities, employers, and communities that have joined forces to help more Dallas County students complete college and begin careers. They support students by providing tuition assistance, success coaching, and advising for students to earn a career certification, associate degree or bachelor’s degree.

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