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Thompson School District F

The Thompson R2-J School District serves the southeast part of Larimer County and parts of Weld and Boulder counties – the communities of Loveland, Berthoud, Masonville, Drake, portions of south Fort Collins and rural areas. The seven members of the Thompson School District Board are from geographic districts and are elected by Thompson School District voters at large for four year terms. Board members serve without pay. Regular meetings of the Board of Education are held at 6 pm on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month in the Administration Building, 800 S. Taft Avenue in Loveland. The schedule for special meetings, executive and work sessions are published at http://www.boarddocs.com/co/thompson/Board.nsf/Public. Video recordings of the Board meetings are available on the website. Elections for Board of Education members are held in November of odd-numbered years.
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  • Lynn Greer (WI)

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    Barbara Kruse (N) Educator

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Biographical Information

Given the school district’s limited revenue, what do you believe are the best ways to cut expenses for the school district and what are the short term and long term consequences of each cut?

What would you propose the Board do to attract and retain well-qualified teachers and staff?

Please provide your perspective on school vouchers.

Are there areas of our public education system that need to be changed to better prepare our students for the future? Please explain.

What ideas do you have for the Board to enhance communication with the community?

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Background I graduated from the University of Iowa with my BA and UNC with my MA in Reading. I am a former classroom teacher for Thompson SD and became an educational consultant for various publishing companies and educational organizations. I currently teach at UNC in Greeley working with future teachers.
Contact e-mail brkruse@frii.com
Contact phone 970-215-1749 970-669-5721
There is no easy way to address this issue. The district is already working on a very limited amount of resources. One possibility would be to look at a more efficient use of buildings, buses, and scheduling. We need to be able to keep cuts away from the students and continue to focus on the quality education they deserve. The forums that the district is hosting seem to be an efficient way to gather additional information from the community regarding the district expenses.
The most obvious is that the pay schedule has to become more competitive with surrounding school districts. Another aspect is the level of respect the community displays. There is a misunderstanding out there about how teachers are paid. Teachers work extremely hard at a job that is never done. Their pay is spread across 12 months, but the pay covers the contract time of about 9 ½ months. When they are not in school, that is not part of contract time.
I am not a supporter of school vouchers. The funding is allotted to public education and the money needs to be used for it. Reality is that money in a public school is not solely dedicated to one individual student, it usually benefits more students in the class or school. Perhaps it is used towards a computer program that is used by multiple children. If money is pulled to provide a student voucher to attend that private school, it is in essence going to that one student to cover tuition.
There are areas for improvement, education can always be improved. One area might be the start time for middle and high school. These students have an internal clock that starts later in the day. We need to have them in school for their peak learning, not when their brains are still sluggish. Elementary children are up bright and early, perfect time to get them thinking and learning. We also need to embrace the benefit of all of the technology available to enhance the learning.
Continuing the multiple occasions for community members to participate in forums in various locations across the district is an ideal way to enhance the communication. By including public comment at each school board meeting community members will have an additional platform for communication.

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