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Tumwater School District No. 033 School Board Director, District No. 4

4-year termNo Salary, some districts offer small per diem for evening meetings. School Board Members or “directors” – are the elected governing body of the school district, serving four-year terms. The school board’s governance responsibilities fall in four major areas: Vision – focuses the work on student achievement through a comprehensive strategic planning process; Structure – provides prudent financial planning and oversight; diligent and innovative policymaking; Accountability – sets specific goals and a process for evaluation, reporting and recommendations for improvements; and Advocacy – champions public education in the local community and before state and federal policy makers. The School Board sets the general policies of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional district Superintendent and certificated teaching staff and personnel. One of the critical duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any school levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The commission sets policies and approves all spending via the budget. The council also sets salaries for district employees.
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    Melissa Determan Beard (NP) Data Governance Coordinator

  • Ryan Tebow (NP)

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Biographical Information

Of three major issues facing your district, which one is the most urgent?

What is your position on Charter Schools as a part of your public school system?

What is your position on testing of your students?

What is your opinion on "start times" for elementary and secondary school?

How can the on-time graduation rate be improved?

How should bullying be addressed?

What would be your plan to see that your school district students earn their civics credit required by the new state law?

What is your opinion of student suspension for classroom disruption?

Phone (360) 753-5804
Email melissafortumwaterschools@gmail.com
Town where you live Tumwater
Experience (300 characters max) I was appointed to the School Board in December. I worked as a paraprofessional at Black Lake Elementary for two years and have served for over 12 years as a budget advisor and education researcher at the state level. I assist school districts in using data to improve learning outcomes for students.
The three major issues facing Tumwater Schools District are meeting the needs of the whole child, providing choice and flexibility for students and school funding. School funding is the most urgent because the two other issues identified can be addressed with fully funding schools. I will encourage the Board to take full advantage of the new funding formula expected in 2019, use levy dollars wisely, and continue to advocate for the state to meet its constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education.
I believe if schools were fully funded, all schools could be innovative and responsive to student needs, similar to public Charter Schools. I also believe if public Charter Schools are able to operate with less accountability, why wouldn’t we allow all public schools that same flexibility? As a Board member, I will work to support a culture that inspires staff to think creatively in meeting the needs of students and support our current practice of encouraging school choice within the “regular” public system.
Most testing of Tumwater School District students is required by state or federal law. I believe standardized testing is necessary to understand how our district is serving all of our students but I do not like the pressure that is put on our students. I am working with Tumwater’s superintendent to identify other measures of school and district success, such as, results of student and climate surveys and attendance.
I believe the start times should be switched. When I returned to Tumwater from graduate school 20 years ago, I presented research on the topic to the district’s Community Roundtable. While they found it interesting, they could not see how it could work without the surrounding districts also adopting the switch. Recently, many districts in Washington have made the change. I would like to engage the community in a conversation on this topic so current research can be considered and solutions can be discussed.
I believe Tumwater’s on-time graduation rate could be improved by offering more choice and flexibility in its offerings to secondary students. When Tumwater begins focusing on the needs of students, we will find they will be more engaged. In some cases, we may find that students may be better served by another school or program and we need to be prepared to offer that choice to students. I will work to make sure our students are aware of the many choices they have between our two comprehensive high schools, our alternative program, the New Market Skills Center, the nearby community colleges and the other school districts in the area. I will also work to include the voices and perspectives of our students in making programmatic decisions in our district to ensure their needs are being heard and considered.
It is important for our community to understand that bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The culture needs to reflect this belief and for this to happen, it needs to be intentional. Many districts train students and staff in appropriate strategies for dealing with bullying and then enforce those expectations consistently.

At the student level, bullying should be addressed by identifying the social-emotional needs of the student doing the bullying. In many cases, family supports may also be needed. The student being bullied also needs this additional help. Research shows that the bully and person being bullied may have similar emotional needs. I believe the district needs to make sure students have access to counselors and trained support staff so these needs can be met.
As a planning committee member for Washington State University’s 4-H Know Your Government (KYG) conference, I am biased. I believe all students should have the opportunity to participate in an experiential learning program. KYG gives participants the chance to experience a mock trial, work to pass a bill through the legislative process, create a party platform and elect a party candidate, and understand bias in the media. I would like to see the school district partner with non-profit organizations, such as, 4-H, YMCA or other civic education programs so students are offered the chance the participate in the process, and not just read about it in a book.
Suspended students miss out on learning so I advocate for ways to keep the student engaged in learning while dealing with behaviors that disrupt other students. To do this, I believe we need to make sure we have the staff that can take time to talk with the student, contact the student’s family to understand what is happening in that student’s life and involve the family in helping the student succeed.
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