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Fayette County Board of Education Division 3

QUALIFICATIONSBoard of Education members must be at least 24 years old, a Kentucky citizen for the last three years, and a registered voter in the appropriate district and voter precinct(s). They must also hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and be in compliance with anti-nepotism state laws, and cannot provide contract services for the school district.TERMMembers of the Board are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis.DUTIESSchool board members are committed to being good stewards of the district's resources, putting the needs of students first and helping all students succeed. The board develops policy that governs the operation of schools; provides visionary leadership that establishes long-range plans and programs for the district; hires the superintendent and issues annual evaluation reports; and sets local tax rates and practices vigorous stewardship to ensure that all school district funds are spent wisely.NOTESThe Board of Education has five members, each representing one of the five school districts.Source: https://www.fcps.net/board; https://elect.ky.gov/

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    Tom Jones

Biographical Information

What makes you the most qualified candidate to represent your school district on the Fayette County Board of Education?

What do you see as the most important issue facing our schools and how will you address it?

With state funds for education suffering cuts year after year, how will you plan to continue quality education in the district?

The COVID19 pandemic has had a dramatic affect on education. What measures do you support for addressing the pandemic while addressing the educational and social needs of students?

In recent months, the Black Lives Matter movement has led the way in heightening awareness of systemic racism in our nation. What is the responsibility of our schools to address institutional racism and what actions should it take?

My professional work experience and training are detailed in a Lexington Herald-Leader article from June 4, 2020 which is available at https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article243254841.html

I hold a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and Rank I in school leadership from UK of College of Education. I retired from Fayette County Schools in 1999 after having served 27 years primarily as a teacher and principal. For over 16 years I served as principal of Bryan Station Traditional Magnet School. During that time, I helped lead the school in the development of the traditional magnet program as well as the Spanish Immersion magnet program. After retirement, I served as state director for AdvancED/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In this position I was responsible for directing accreditation activities in nearly 700 public and non-public schools and districts in Kentucky. I was appointed Director of Education Improvement for AdvancED in 2012, and in this
The most important issue facing FCPS is how to balance the health and safety needs of students, staff and the broader community with the educational needs of the nearly 40,000 students in the district. This issue must be addressed with the guidance of our community’s most knowledgeable public health professionals. We must also seek innovative solutions from our school and system leaders, state department of education, among others for strategies and approaches that will re-engage some or all students in meaningful learning experiences as soon as feasible. As a board member, I would be interested in strengthening the district’s capacity to more systematically provide robust on-line learning opportunities particularly for students at the intermediate, middle and high school levels.

The second most important issue facing district is to ensure that all students have equitable and challenging learning experiences leading to next level success and ultimately to successful transition to p
It is my understanding that state funding has been reduced since 2008 and that the local revenue sources, such as the occupational license tax and property tax, have been used to make up for these reductions. As a board member, I would endeavor to ensure that 1) system policies and practices safeguard the efficient allocation and use of resources, 2) accounting and auditing of the district’s finances are conducted with integrity and transparency, 3) budgeting decisions are consistently guided by data and information about improving student learning and the conditions that support learning, 4) a very cautious and balanced approach to further increases in local taxes are based solely on the existence of legitimate needs of the district in pursuit of a high quality educational programs that meet community expectations and advance the mission of FCPS.

Getting back to face-to-face instruction as soon as possible needs to be a clear priority for the district as well as safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff. I would urge district personnel communicate specific steps that will be taken to ensure a safe reopening of schools such as procedures that will allow safe social distancing, use of face masks, regular temperature checks, and the availability and use of personal protective equipment.

As a board member, I would support alternative daily and weekly schedules, shortened school days and weeks for face-to-face instruction as temporary measures to safely reopen schools. The goal would be to re-establish personal contact between students and their teachers. These alternative approaches would need to be supplemented with on-line learning experiences, independent learning, project-based learning and other non-traditional approaches.

Primary students should receive the highest priority for reopening since these stude
One of the primary goals of the board of education is to set goals and expectations for students and employees. The board, primarily through their relationship with the superintendent, also sets the tone or climate for learning and work across the district. It is my understanding that the board has consistently declared its commitment to and expectations for the equitable treatment of all persons in publications, programs, policies, decisions, etc., and I would urge the continuation of these practices.

As a board member, I would also be interested in:

• Future curriculum alignment and revision processes examining the extent to which course content may be contributing to a false narrative or misconceptions regarding the role racial prejudice has played in the history of our society. • Development of approaches that will further the use of research aligned best practices that have resulted in increases in student achievement among black and brown students, i.e., authentic student