Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
I volunteer in the schools, speak with many parents regarding school topics, have friends who teach at all levels in KSD and my oldest child is in 2nd grade, with 14+ years left in KSD. I listen, I'm objective, I ask probing questions & am fiscally responsible and practical in the way I live.
I married and had children later in life. I have lived in various parts of the country, traveled much of America and many countries around the world. I’ve lived in the privileged world, but have also volunteered and done mission work within 3rd world and poverty-level living. I realize that everyone is different, but everyone’s basic needs are the same. My education provided a strong base in psychology with physical therapy in graduate school. Through my experiences in work, life and social interaction, I am exposed to many diverse people with various insight and questions to life. Through my work experiences, I chose to work greatly with the elderly population because I realized the benefits by listening and learning from those who have lived a great portion of their life. I may not have the experience of previously working on a school board, but I know that life experiences and listening to others who are around me and have come before me, bring invaluable experience and expertise.
• Addressing safety within the classroom for both the teachers and students
• Population growth and maintaining adequate facilities for the growth
• Increasing cultural diversity and language barriers within the school
Standard protocols for behavioral disruptions within the classroom need to be reviewed and revised to ensure the effectiveness and consistency across the district. Teachers need to be further educated on how to recognize escalating behavior and how to assist in de-escalation. Should classroom sizes be too large, the behavioral tendencies be too challenging or practical experience be limited; para-educators need to be placed, to effectively follow the revised standards and ensure the safety of all who are present. I believe there needs to be a minimum behavior standard in all classrooms and would support a “no tolerance” policy.
Each school has it’s own personality and cultural needs dependent on the student population. Opportunities should not change depending on the school, but sometimes there are further needs of each school depending on the population. It’s the school that needs to bring forth their ideas and needs to the school board, as they know their students/needs more than the board. Our job is to look at the budget, the needs of the school and opportunities for each school, to ensure there is equity between the schools.
I believe the Kennewick School District is doing a fine job of assuring the safety of all the students. They have been designing, building and renovating schools to have a single, manned entrance during the school hours. School bus drivers are being trained to increase children’s safety on the bus. Bullying has been addressed and continues to be evaluated and further addressed as needed. The local police departments work with children in DARE training at the elementary school level.
I do believe that increasing safety and addressing the feeling of being safe are two different things. KSD has high standards for safety. They cannot meet the needs for each child feeling safe, as there are too many situational, emotional and personal reasons for a child feeling safe. Those needs will need to be met through counseling, parent meetings and one-on-one conversations at the school level.
I do not know all the issues that need to be addressed. Those issues are noted by listening to the students, teachers and the community of each school. I’m sure there are common threads that can be found among the schools. When issues arise, they should be addressed at each school independently. As our new superintendent noted at the community meeting, in the past, she has met with principals of each school level as a group. Should those groups be noting common threads, they will likely be able to address them as a group for their level of students. If the issues are noted to be district-wide, then the board will address each issue as a group.
Much of technology is learned through hands-on education. I don’t feel all of school should be technology-based, as there is much lost when all activities are done through computers. Children still need hands-on writing, math, history, science, art, music and literature. All senses need to be used to truly learn and gain knowledge, as well as stimulate each student’s interest in learning. Everyone learns differently and if we choose to do all training through technology, those who learn by hearing, seeing, feeling, doing and touching, will be at a disadvantage.
This is challenging for all schools to various degrees. I feel that having a “buddy system,” as in having a well-adjusted/performing student, buddy up with a student that is challenged by homelessness, being an immigrant, refugee and/or non-English speaking student. This offers the opportunity for both students to learn from each other and provide more of a support system for those who are challenged by the school system due to circumstances. Each school should have a club or group of students that volunteer and/or chosen to participate in the “buddy system.” It would also be beneficial for non-English students to have one class together for reading/learning English each day of the school week
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Over 7 years as a Kennewick School Board Director. 15 years of being a parent of students in the Kennewick School District.
Since I don’t know anything about the others that are seeking the position, I can only speak on my own merit. I am a product of the public school system. The grade schools and high school that I attended were public schools. I earned my bachelors and master’s degrees from state universities.
I have gained extensive experience from over seven years that I have been on the Kennewick School Board. Those experiences now help with decisions in and outside of the board room. I have met with legislators and government officials to discuss the needs of the Kennewick School District. I’m on the State WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) committee that assist the WSSDA (Washington State School Directors' Association) in setting state wide school directives concerning extra-curricular activities. On the local level, I been part of many ground breaking decisions such as building new schools, adjusting the punishment policies for students, and meals for our students.
1. Managing growth while addressing students’ needs
3. Student Debt (improving the scholarship awarding rate for KSD students)
Growth while addressing all student’s needs… We have to continue to be “forward looking” whether looking for future schools sites or seeking progressive teaching techniques. The Kennewick School District has to look at other school districts that are larger and more complex than our own to discover best ways to handle our growth. We have to stay ahead of the growth. We also have to continue to work to attract highly qualified and motivated teachers and support staff.
The KSD (Kennewick School District) will have to continue to have the school officials report on programs, and use that information to improve programs throughout the district. We must offer the successful programs to as many students as possible, such as the bi-lingual program. Make the schools as balanced as possible in terms of course availability and resources. I believe that one of the goals of the Kennewick School District is to offer the best educational opportunities possible at all of the Kennewick Schools locations.
The safety of our staff and students is paramount. We have to continue to enhance our safety features, never thinking that it is good enough. We have to stay on top of technology, ready to embrace proven solutions. Our parents, teachers, staff, and students will continued to be informed of safety programs and procedures that will help them both, be safe and feel that Kennewick Schools are safe places to be. Continue to monitor school grounds and buses.
We, the Kennewick School District, must take an honest look at the racial equality status of our programs and schools. Do we have an imbalance in punishment? Is there a lack of participation of minority student in extracurricular activities? Are there outreach programs that attempt to open the doors of communication with different racial/ethnic groups? We need to look at our leadership staff… is there an imbalance in the staff? I believe that the District has started the process of reviewing our efforts provide racial equality. The challenge is that when these issues are identified, we have to be prepared to address them in a proactive manner.
Technical training should be combined with the STEM Training. Example, when engineering concepts are introduced, also teach that technical trades/skills that are required to solve air conditioning issues, plumbing issues, electrical issues, and building challenges. Both are required to produce well rounded students. Implement craft days where book concepts are put into action. Course credit should be assigned to these craft days.
Kennewick School District has to continue the great job that it is presently doing. I am very proud to be part of the efforts that are taking place to reach the population noted in this discussion. Many of the schools have special programs that address these issues. I would like to advocate for a detailed online program that would offer courses online that will co-exist with classroom curriculums. This will allow “seasonal working” students, or students of immigrant workers the opportunity to stay on course with their classmates even if they can’t always be in the classroom.