Are elementaries required to have formal student councils?
There is no legal requirement to create a formal student body organization for elementary. The WAC states that if you have 7th grade or above, then you must create a student council structure.
In lieu of official student decision making, the principal can act as the ASB President and Treasurer if there are ASB needs.
WAC 392-138-011 Formation of associated student bodies required.
The formation of an associated student body shall be mandatory and a prerequisite whenever one or more students of a school district engage in money-raising activities with the approval and at the direction or under the supervision of the district: Provided, That the board of directors of a school district may act, or delegate the authority to an employee(s) of the district to act, as the associated student body governing body for any school facility within the district containing no grade higher than the sixth grade.
I am very biased about the idea of including students when we can find proper ways. I think teaching our students to find their voice and to represent the voices of others is an absolutely necessary social-emotional learning opportunity. I would use opportunities for learning how to budget, spending funds, legal requirements putting on event, and reflecting on their success to teach our kids how to work with groups. I think it is an awesome opportunity to work on campus culture and behavioral/emotional safety (tackling bullying).
AWSL has resources available on inclusion of elementary students in a variety of student leader structures that can best meet the culture/climate of the building.