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Pasco School District Director, At Large, Position 5

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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    Jeffrey A. Peterson (NP) Project Manager

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    Amy L. Phillips (NP) Mother

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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 (509) 222-4914
Email jeff@jeffpeterson4pascoschoolboard.com
Town where you live Pasco
Experience (300 characters max) I was in the Air Force, I have been an Operations Manager, a Safety Professional and am currently a Project Manager. I have multiple Masters degrees in Operations, Safety and Project Management in addition to a degree in Organizational Management. I also have 5 kids, 4 in the school system.
Overcrowding is the most urgent issue currently facing the district. Having a long-term facilities plan is critical to having community support as well as getting the right type and number of facilities within the school district.
I do not believe that Charter Schools have a place in the public school system. While they do have good intentions and provide a service, private schools are a better option as Charter Schools take money away from the public school system that they sorely need.
Testing of students has gotten out of hand. We have gotten to the point where we are teaching our students how to take a test instead of how to think and problem solve. I believe that 1 or 2 tests may be relevant, but anymore than that is taking away from instructional time that would be better spent teaching the basics.
While there are many studies that show that a later start time would be beneficial, the logistics for this with our current society is very difficult. More information is needed to determine if there would be community support for this or if it would be doable in our agriculture based community.
Getting the right resources to the right students is the only way to improve the on-time graduation rate. This includes special needs as well as AP type classes and vocational classes. Almost any student can be successful if they have the right resources available to be successful.
Current methods are good for now until there are new ideas that can be presented. At the end of the day, parents need to be the ones to teach their kids how to correctly interact with others. Students are much more likely to model behavior and values that are taught at home when they are at school.
More research and information on this area is needed, however, additional civics classes could go a long way to prevent some of the issues that we have seen in past national elections due to a misunderstanding of how the civics process works.
I have never been a fan of suspending students for disrupting a classroom. Generally, a disrupting student wants/needs attention and removing them is not a good way to deal with them. That said, teachers are overburdened with large classrooms as it is and lacking a better method, suspensions are suitable for some situations, other ideas may include time-out rooms or similar ideas.
Phone (253) 224-2431
Town where you live Pasco
Experience (300 characters max) Mother, Graduated in Mathematics Education, Substitute teacher, General Contractor for 5 homes, Small business owner, foster mom for 14 years, volunteer work: ATP member, Pals member, Cub Scout Den Leader, Scout Committee member, Team Pasco member
I feel the most urgent issue our district is facing is that our kids need to be able to be read on grade level in grade 3. If we can fix that problem I believe our children will be set to do better in math, reading, science, in all subjects. It will give them the confidence they need and will help the graduate. Children reading on grade level by the 3rd are proven more likely to graduate.

I believe that Charter Schools can be very successful as long as they are implemented properly. I believe competition can be very healthy.
Testing should quickly gauge students’ progress and allow for early intervention while maximizing time spent on instruction. We recently replaced 5 tests with one that should accomplish this goal.
Though I've read the research that show the benefits of later start times for teenagers, I feel we need to always make decisions for things such as start times that takes into account the needs of our local families, our community, busing schedules, and financial impacts.
Best way? By helping our parents give their children the best social, emotional and educational start they can. Kids that start Kindergarten at grade level are much more likely to graduate.

Another way to improve our on-time graduation rates is to identify kids in the 9th grade whom are beginning to fall behind and offer support to stay in school by identifying problems at home and helping students address them, identifying interests of kids and helping them to attain their life-goals, and giving them support to achieve by having access to help before and after school and on Saturdays.
By better identifying and caring for our students emotional needs at school. Staff needs to be pro-active about preventing and recognizing behavior that can be detrimental to student's needs. Kids need to be taught the difference between bullying and an isolated incident and how to get help when they need it.
I currently don't have a personal plan for this. I believe geography, government, economics, social studies and just teaching kids their civic duty is important.
I think there are better ways to educate kids rather than suspend them. Often a child who is causing so many problems in school to be suspended has problems that are far beyond the classroom. In an in-school suspension some of these needs can be identified and addressed through a school psychologist or teacher..

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