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Thompson School District B

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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    Paul Bankes (N) Financial Planning and Advisor

Change Candidates

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?

Background Public education for 25-years serving as an elementary teacher, assistant principal, principal, Director of Assessment and Accountabiity, and Director and Executive Director of Elementary Education in the Thompson School District; educational teaching and consulting nationally and internationally.
Contact phone (970) 443-0820
It is premature for budget cut recommendations and forecasts. I support zero-based budgeting methods that include expenditure justifications. An advisory committee needs to evaluate stakeholder input and make recommendations to the BOE. We face difficult decisions about positions, compensation, school closure, transportation, and other sensitive issues. The process needs to be based on retaining mission critical work. We can’t achieve becoming a destination district with these cuts long-term.
Addressing this issue is not only about money, but the norms and values of leadership and human interactions. The Board can establish a shared vision of excellence, stay focused on the mission of teaching and learning, build capacity to do mission-critical work and reinforce cultural norms and core values that support respect, empowerment, trust, and high levels of achievement for all, which will translate into a healthier culture that attracts and retains well-qualified teachers and staff.
Public education needs to be embraced as essential for a strong economy and democracy. I do not support funds being diverted to any private school choice option and/or voucher system. I oppose tax credits for those attending private schools. These approaches will contribute to perpetuating economic and racial divides that exist within our school system. I can't support methods that increase racial segregation, reduces diversity, and widens divisions within our community.
Education history shows an ongoing use of education fads, which are superficial, quick fixes for significant educational problems, and superficial learning. Public education needs to get off the fad roller coaster and embrace substantive teaching and learning strategies. This includes dismissing extensive rote memorization and developing understanding through the concepts, tools and skills of quality reasoning. Students would be effective life-long learners with meaningful skills and knowledge.
Utilize strategies such as town hall meetings, home meetings, and email. Demand genuine support and use of existing internal committees to provide direct feedback. Go to our community and not expect the community to come to us, even if this means going from house to house to engage with citizens.

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