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Clallam, Jefferson Sequim School District No. 323 Director District No. 2

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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    Jon Kirshbaum (NP) Retired Educational Administrator

  • Brian Kuh (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) 461-7365
Email jonkirshbaum511@gmail.com
Town where you live Sequim, Washington
Experience (300 characters max) During my career, I was an excellent team builder and player, troubleshooter, problem solver and decision maker. Active in both IT and non-IT tasks, I trained LSCs in lump-sum budgeting and school finance, coordinated FYE processing, and led focus groups, discerning concerns of all the stakeholders.
Paramount, of course, is full funding of K-12 instruction as mandated by the WA Constitution. This is very important in order to attract and retain teachers within the district. Hopefully, the Court will address the Legislature's attempt to do so later this year. Akin to this funding issue is the question of whether the school district will ever receive its fair share of the timberland trust which has evaporated over the years. Secondly, there is need for facilities to accommodate the future needs of the district that are adequate, safe for both students and staff, as well as utilitarian. Lastly, and the one most urgent as far as student-centered success is concerned, is to address those students who are falling behind and/or do not finish high school. I suggest we look at the approach that the Staleys took in their FOCUS book concerning the issue of freshmen students in college. Perhaps, a similar effort might be viable for our 8th graders making their transitions into high school.
While I support the argument for personal choice, I don't believe that Charter or so-called Impact schools really have proven themselves to be that superior to public schools in terms of student performance or other related outcomes. I personally believe that adoption of social and emotional learning (SEL) within public school districts actually alleviate some of the most troubling issues and help the students to learn to become better participants in their present and future environments and prepare them for their places in society. There are opportunities such as Running Start and other programs that districts do offer that enable students to channel their own desired interests and needs. I also think that extending some kind of work/study apprenticeships to high school students will encourage those not planning to go to college right away to gain valuable experience where they can lucratively achieve opportunities.
I must agree that too much emphasis of late has been on testing, testing and more testing. In some ways the testing is done as a way to rate whether teachers are achieving their goals. If a test is used to determine at what grade level the student is performing, then I think this can be useful; generally, these are administered only once or twice at the elementary, middle and high school levels. I do believe however that there needs to be more intervention with school counselors along with parents and teachers when tests are evaluated so there can be encouragement based on each student as an individual rather than just measured against ranges or grade levels. This is an opportunity to make life choices that will meet the needs of the individual student rather than stressing something that the individual should do but which does not take into consideration his/her individual interests and/or abilities.
The only problem I have really is when starting times are juggled to accommodate convenience. I don't believe in staggering since it can be disruptive to both parent and student. I think it is critical that a student receive proper nutrition and that they have enough time in the school day to eat their breakfast or lunch. While arguments can be made that teenagers need more sleep than younger children, I think that a common early start time is okay. One just has to budget enough time for extracurricular activities, homework, sleep, etc. When one becomes an adult, the work schedule often dictates. I don't see why this cannot apply here as well. I know both pros and cons can be given for varying start times, I feel the more important question is whether there is enough time during the school day to engage in regular eating habits and not rushed or skipped deliberately. This is particularly true when a large number of the students are receiving free and/or reduced meals at school.
I think one must be alert for early signals such as poor or failing grades during the freshman or sophomore years, frequent or long absences or poor test scores. Teachers, parents or counselors should reach out to those students showing these signs of falling behind or any other apparent disengagement, trying to ascertain why they are having problems and try to obtain the tutoring or emotional support that may be needed. Collaborative support from fellow students, regarding attendance and student participation can alleviate some of the concerns; also, fellow students who see this happening can maybe suggest helping to study class assignments together or work as a team. Another positive approach is not to be punitive but remedial or restorative in any disciplinary actions taken. Make it a learning event rather than a punishment or exclusion or suspension. In any case, try to get to the cause of the problem and not the symptom.
Washington State has a law on the books concerning bullying, etc. While it is there to monitor and control such behavior, particularly when it is repeated or extreme, perhaps other means should first be attempted. Use of some social and emotional learning (SEL) efforts might be used through special training or classes. Again, getting collaborative support against bullying by other students might prove beneficial. If we suspend or expel the offender, we don't often change the behavior. We need to be remedial when possible.
There already has been suggestions made regarding the offering of special courses to satisfy the requirements. I would like to see some alternatives such as taking a test in lieu of a particular course, or participating in some sort of civic participation or a special project.There should be different ways of demonstrating ones understanding of civics and its relevance in our society.
Again, I don't see exclusion or suspension as a solution. The offender needs to receive some sort of social and/or emotional learning through a course held in the school during school time. The disruption may be thought as a way of getting removed from the school. In this way, however, the student would still have to remain in school and hopefully would have his/her behavior positively modified as a result.
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