The Wilton Public School District has been selected to start a local Special Education Youth Advisory Council, designed to increase student involvement in the special education process. The council was created by the State Education Resource Center (SERC), Connecticut Bureau of Special Education, and state Department of Education with the goal of reaching students \u201cwho may not typically have an opportunity to share their voice,\u201d and helping students \u201cdevelop effective leadership skills in order to make positive changes in their school and community,\u201d according to SERC\u2019s website. Twenty middle and high school students will be part of the Special Education Youth Advisory Council, according to a press release from Wilton Public Schools. The students will participate in focus groups facilitated by SERC consultants\u00a0\u2014\u00a0the purpose of which is to develop a student voice and solicit feedback from students about their overall experience in school. A school staff member will be present during the group discussions, and student responses will not be identifiable in any focus group reports. To continue developing their voice, leadership, and teambuilding skills, the students will participate in youth leadership training during the school year and be invited to attend a youth symposium at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain on May 16. At the symposium, the students will \u201chelp design their \u2018ideal school\u2019 in an effort to increase public awareness of the valuable role that student voice, and increased student independence, can play in the lives of students, families, and communities,\u201d according to the school district\u2019s press release. The council\u2019s work will be shared with, and help to inform, the special education bureau chief on issues that are important to special education students.