1 What can you do to help every LSR7 child succeed? Be specific
First, I can listen to the concerns of parents, faculty, and students in regards to what is needed to allow students to succeed. It is important for students and teachers to have the necessary resources to address different learning styles within the classroom. But, it also means providing as many choices as possible so students can experience a wide range of classes and activities. Finally, we need to fully staff classroom and support positions within the district in order to allow students to build those lasting relationships that allow them to conquer problems and succeed in school.
2 Do you support the dual enrollment plan? Explain your position
As I stated at the candidate forum, I was at the board meeting where the Innovation Track was discussed. I had concerns that evening with unanswered questions about the program. I thought those should have been resolved before voting on the program. The idea itself is excellent. More opportunities for students is wonderful and once some of the questions surrounding the program were answered, I do support the program.
3 What is the role of a board member?
A good board member is not only responsible for helping the superintendent set and achieve goals (as well as officially evaluating his performance) but will also continue to seek input from the community, faculty, staff, and students to learn what is going on and needed within the district. Finally, the role of a board member is to ask questions, even if those might be unpopular and make budget decisions as wisely as possible.
4 What voice should stakeholders have in district policy making?
A large voice. The only way our district can solve problems and continue to be successful is to seek input from those stakeholders. Parents, teachers, students, business leaders, administration, and everyone else in our community needs to stay engaged. The LSR7 district is not without problems and concerns. It is up to all of us to make sure these issues are brought forth and collaborative discussions occur to address these problems.
5 Do you or would you uphold district board norms?
Board norms should be set by the board in conjunction with the superintendent and district administration. Once they are set by each board, then yes, I believe you uphold those norms.
6 What would you or have you done to achieve the board’s three goals? Be specific.
It’s important to note that while the board has three broad goals, they aren’t the only goals that have been set. That being said, to increase student achievement you have to recognize what improvement looks like and make sure staff has the necessary resources to actually impact student achievement. Second, with the goal of equity, it is important for people to understand equity can and will look different from one building to the next and even one student to the next. Providing equity will mean improving technology, teaching to different learning styles, providing all different opportunities for multiple groups of students, etc. And lastly, increasing public trust will be accomplished by continuing to educate the public on when meetings are happening, explaining decisions, and seeking input from the community whenever possible.
7 What can we do as a newspaper, school district, and community to help prevent bullying and suicides among our grade school and high school students?
I think the question actually provides part of the answer. We have to work together and not as separate entities. The internet and social media means that bullying is unfortunately far to easy to mask and is a 24 hour a day problem, rather than something that might just happen at school. We have to teach kids how to be intelligent and conscientious consumers and users of technology while at the same time ensuring we have the proper personnel within our school system (counselors, social workers, interventionists, etc) who can identify when a student is struggling and address those issues. We need to work with parents on how to identify behaviors of a struggling child and we must continue to preach the see something – say something philosophy. It is a complex issue and one we must keep discussing.