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Currently serving as an Evergreen Public Schools Board Director in Position 1. I was appointed in 2012 and re-elected in 2013.
Resolving the compensation issue. Even with the passing of McCleary decision, we know that there will be changes on how we bargain contracts in the next couple of years. This is something that we will have to keep a close eye on as we move forward in preparing budgets. Capital projects that will include building/replacing schools is something else that we will be looking to do in the next several years.
Parents and students are wanting choice in their education. Charter schools could provide “choice”, however, I believe that in a district the size of Evergreen, we build choice through our own programs. With the personalized learning initiative the district has been working on, students will be able to have individualized learning with more immediate feedback. They will be able to work on projects that build collaboration and critical thinking skills. Also, in my time as a school director, we continue to look for ways to enhance programs in all of our schools. A few examples are in our career and technology classes, the HeLa High School model, skills center and various intern opportunities. I want options for every student and believe we are doing this and will continue to in our school system.
When the metric becomes the goal, it is no longer a valid metric. We need more formative evaluations and fewer summative. The money is better spent diagnosing and remediating. Standardized tests are not valid measures of graduation readiness.
Research is clear on the later start times for secondary times. We have changed the start times to improve attendance and achievement at our high schools. This is the first year so we don’t have a real evidence of change.
Don’t let students get behind. Provide growth tracking through formative assessment and remediate immediately when learning is behind, with extra supports for the student who falls behind. Do this throughout the K-12 education and be certain that when one student moves to a different school or is promoted to the next level we continue to address and identify students that need extra support. In Evergreen, we have a goal of 100% graduation of our students, over the past several years, our graduation rates are steadily rising. We want every student to succeed.
We have used PBIS and other programs in all our schools and have instituted restorative justice practices at all education levels. Bullying is not tolerated and we have policy in place and training of our staff to ensure we are watching and dealing with such behavior.
We have been offering CWI or AP Government to all students as a course for many years in high school. These courses both cover the required civics credit that students need in order to graduate. I am in complete favor of students not only in Evergreen, but throughout the state having this as a requirement in their education. I strongly believe that our students should be civic minded and ready to participate in the democratic process when they graduate high school.
All students have the right to an education and it should not be hindered by a disruptive student. Disruptive behavior is a symptom and should be treated as such. We want kids to stay in the classroom so they do not fall behind. We have put in place therapeutic kindergarten as well as mindfulness training to help students learn techniques to cope early in their education.
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Experience (300 characters max)
I have been elected co president of my local association for four years and have 12 years public school teaching experience.
I think that a major issue in our district is lack of current and relevant curriculum. It's important to make sure that current, relevant, and culturally responsive curriculum, devices and technology get into our classrooms and training on implementing those tools is provided for staff so that we can more readily meet the diverse needs of our students.
I think the idea of charter schools is a step in the wrong direction when it comes to serving and funding the diverse needs of our students. Its important that we focus on creating great pubic schools for all students.
Assessments should be used for teaching and learning. A lot of times high stakes tests are administered late in the year, but teachers don't get to see the results until much later and don't have the opportunity to use the data to positively impact student learning.
Research shows that secondary students perform better at school with a later start time. Elementary students tend to be most alert and ready to learn in the morning hours.
Implementing programs, identifying students' needs and implementing strategies to help meet the diverse needs of our students early in their education can more readily put them on a path toward success and help to continually improve the on-time graduation rate.
Bullying is an education issue, health issue, and a social justice issue. We need to make sure our educators and educational support teams are trained to handle bullying at the school level and all stakeholders must collaborate on policies and programs to eliminate bullying in our public schools. Bullying no longer just takes place on school playgrounds and buses. It's happening in the corridors of cyberspace making it virtually impossible for students to escape it. The importance of educating staff and our students on creating and maintaining a healthy school climate is crucial for students’ safety, education, and health.
We need to make sure that every student is provided a civic education from kindergarten through high school graduation. We need to make sure that our classrooms are equipped with the materials and funding necessary for building critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills for engaged citizenship. Our students need to be provided resources and our schools need to have curriculum that enhance civic education. It would also be neat for students to have opportunities to make a difference in the civic life of their schools and communities.
I believe in educating our students. Too many of our students in the past have been excluded from class for minor, non- violent behavior which puts them at risk for academic failure. Not only are they at risk for academic failure, but they are not receiving the tools and techniques necessary for correcting future behavior. Its important to provide relevant tools to educators and communities that will help them avoid the use of harmful discipline such as suspension. Federal investigators have concluded that race is a factor when looking at the data surrounding disciplinary reactions. Our schools need ELL services, free tutoring services, and effective, research-based restorative justice programs. We need to provide tools and techniques to help build healthy relationships and a sense of community. Our public school systems should help better the lives of our students and our communities by creating productive, civic-minded citizens who give back to society .