INTRODUCING… the Students Inter-Schools Action Council (SIAC)


Katy Clark

Information about their projects and mission can be found on the Weebly website.

Amador Valley High School and Foothill High School have a joint organization called Students Inter-Schools Action Council (SIAC), which works with the school board and city council to amplify student voices and improve educational policies.

“I joined SIAC because I was interested in local government and I can’t hold an office position right now so this is the next best thing to help students and work with the local government very closely and give them our feedback. In the future I hope to go into law and study public policy,” said SIAC Vice President Simran Pandey (‘23).

SIAC was founded by AV alumni Nicole Zhang (‘18). Since then, SIAC has worked with the city council and school board on many issues. They started an anti-vaping campaign and worked with the Pleasanton Youth Commission to pass a series of five ordinances that regulates vape and flavored tobacco sales in Pleasanton.

“(The campaign) essentially put limitations on where tobacco could be sold and how much can be sold, especially near schools so students don’t have as much access to it. With that the goal is just to prevent students from accessing drugs and other things that can lead to addiction and lead to problems in life and help them become the best versions of themselves without it,”said Pandey.

During the pandemic with online learning, SIAC created the Remote Resilience Video Series. These videos provided emotional support to students, creating connections and a community during a time of isolation.

“During remote learning, students found it difficult to connect with their learning and truly thrive.  The remote resilience series was a collaboration between SIAC and PUSD as a set of videos to help students cope with distance learning.  It includes mental health tips, study tips and even an interview with an occupational therapist,” said SIAC President and Foothill student Connor Lam (‘25 ). 

Coming back from online learning, SIAC worked to create a scheduling committee to amend the schedule, allowing for longer lunch breaks and less variability. However, due to recently passed laws regarding school schedules, SIAC will not be focusing on the scheduling committee as much this year.

“People seem to be happy with the schedule we have right now. The issue with scheduling is that there are a lot of factors to take into account.  Passing period was increased this year because teachers wanted a longer break between their classes. With new California laws saying schools can’t start until 8:30 A.M. and things like that we have to take into account, making a new schedule is really hard so I think we are okay with what there is,” said Pandey.

This year, SIAC is focusing on publishing their City Council Newsletter, which will be sent out every six weeks. This is to help readers understand who is on the city council making decisions for them, and the policies being contested. One policy they hope to break down for the public especially is Measure I, a tax that would help pay for school infrastructure if passed.

“The first newsletter just came out, and we are sharing it with more outlets currently,” said Lam.

With the focus on the newsletter, SIAC members hope to make the divide between the students and the city council smaller, and make students excited about public policy that could have an effect on them. 

“I like bringing people together and I’d like to be a part of the group that could make that happen. SIAC gives an opportunity for students to share their opinions and create change in the district. School is designed to serve students and prepare them for the real world,” said Lam.