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Richland School District 400 Director No. 1

4-year term No 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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  • Matthew Bishop (NP)

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    Heather Cleary (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?

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Phone (509) 627-3400
Email cleary.home@charter.net
Town where you live Richland
Experience (300 characters max) I've served on the Richland School Board since 2005. During my tenure we have accomplished many things that I've been proud of such as Full Day Kindergarten, Delta HS and our Health Science Academy. Our district continues to offer innovative programs for all students we serve.
Closing the achievement gap between students of low income and the students of non-low income.

The demographics of our students is constantly changing and while our students continue to do well locally, the district is continually looking at ways to improve student learning. The staff is constantly looking at what can be done to help students be the best that they can be.
Charter Schools are a part of the education landscape in our state. I can see why they are attractive to families in communities where the schools might not be good, or offering classes that might not be available from local schools.

In our community, our local schools offer a rich variety of educational choices. Most people would be surprised at the number of fantastic classes available in our school district, from K-12 Art and Music programs, Career and Technical classes, Woodworking,....you name it, I bet we offer it. We even had high school students win top prizes at the Fair this year, raising animals! If a student wants an class, it's probably offered somewhere. As a local school board member, I am not a fan of charter schools because it takes money away from our school district. Charter Schools don't have the same type of oversight required of a local school board. I truly believe in supporting our local schools.
The less testing the better.

Testing provides valuable information to help teachers guide instruction, however testing reduces critical time needed for teaching and learning. Our teachers need every second of every day for instruction.

Last years loss of instructional days due to inclement weather was felt not only by our teachers but the students as well.
There have been numerous studies that suggest delaying start times, because students are sleep deprived.

I used to think this idea had potential, however I recently read another study that said delaying start times just means that students will use late starts to justify staying up later, and it won't help improve their sleep deprivation.. I know with my own High School students, they were night owls and just couldn't get to bed at what I considered a reasonable hour. They were always busy with homework, chatting with friends texting, working, and various activities.

The other consequence of delaying start times is that it impacts after school activities, sports and jobs for students. It also impacts bus schedules for our other students.

After considering all the impacts, I think we should just stick with our current schedule. As adults, we have certain responsibilities, and being prepared for the next day is just one of life's responsibilities.
Keeping students engaged in school, whether it's because of friends, a particular class, or an activity or interest keeps them motivated, will eventually help them to graduate. Chronic absenteeism is a sign of a student that is struggling and may become disengaged from school.

Some of our principals, teachers and administrators have begun programs to engage students in school; connecting with them one on one to make sure they have regular attendance, and pay attention to when students are absent. Richland Schools are trying different innovative ways to engage these students before they become a drop out statistic
The Richland School District, nor the school board would tolerate bullying in our schools.

I am not aware of examples of bullying in our school district. Usually it is dealt with at the building level, however it can escalate up to the district office and is dealt with promptly on a case by case basis.

Individual schools offer anti-bullying programs from time to time. I believe they are offered ususally once a year. Many of the student leadership groups offer anti bullying messages and programs to students.

I am not aware of this change and will look into it to familiarize myself with the requirement.
In general we do not tolerate students who are a disruption in a classroom, on a bus, or on a school campus. Our schools tend to be well run and orderly. Our students in general behave well.

The Richland School District tries to have issues such as this dealt with at the lowest level; meaning the classroom teacher, then an administrator/principal, following up the chain of command.

This doesn't happen often, but when it does it is dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

Suspensions are usually reserved for situations where a threats is involved or a student has done something wrong multiple times after being warned to correct their behavior.

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