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San Juan Lopez Island School District #144 School Board Director 2

4-year term No 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.
  • Don Burt Jr (NP)

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    Chris Greacen (NP) Consultant -- rural electrification

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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?

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Phone (360) 468-3189
Town where you live Lopez Island
Experience (300 characters max) I grew up on Lopez, attending Lopez School from 3rd grade through graduation. My two children are enrolled as Lopez middle/high students. I volunteer regularly in the classroom, and am a board member of LIEF which provides grants to teachers. My professional work focuses on clean energy.
Lopez School has just completed a major renovation, so one of the key issues facing the school in past years -- our crumbling infrastructure -- has been addressed on-time and on-budget. Huge thanks to a remarkable work by the contractor, the administration, citizens involved in various committees supporting the effort, and to voters who approved the school renovation bond and tech levy.

With that out of the way, the school still faces some issues:

1. We need a strong budget putting children’s education first; 2. We need to work to ensure a strong relationship between the teacher’s union and the administration; 3. We need to continue to invest in the relationship between the school and the larger community; 4. We need to figure out how to integrate new technology in the classroom in ways that support critical thinking and develops skills (creative, technological, collaborative) needed for the 21st century.

I will keep my eyes and ears open to learn which of these is most urgent.
Our school district is too tiny to accommodate a separate charter school. I would like to see lessons learned and innovations pioneered in charter schools applied to our school where they make sense. One such area is theme and project-based learning.
I feel that while a certain amount of testing is useful to gauge the effectiveness of education, the pendulum has swung too far. We have too much standardized testing and too much pressure on teachers to ‘teach to the test’. This eats up precious time and resources and reduces our school’s ability to focus on educational activities that enhance critical thinking and creative problem solving.
I do not see this as a crucial issue for Lopez schools.
Lopez School has an excellent on-time graduation rate. This is the result of teachers and staff paying attention to individual students needs and making sure that no one falls through the cracks. I applaud these efforts, which reflect the hard work of teachers in our small school in providing rich educational environments for students of a wide range of abilities.
I am encouraged by the attention the school pays to bullying. On the homepage of the website is a button for anonymous reporting of bullying. Curriculum taught in the school discusses bullying -- how to identify it, call it out, and stop it. With rollout of tech programs, attention has been paid to cyber bullying and teaching our students how to be good digital citizens. All of these are good steps. With increasing ethnic diversity in our school and an increasingly polarized national citizenry, addressing bullying is more important than ever.
Preparing our students to be informed voters is an important part of their education, and learning how government functions is a key part of this. I would be in support of integrating civics into the existing US History class, and would encourage teachers in other subject areas to integrate civics where they see it appropriate.
I have always found it ironic that the two main forms of punishment imposed in schools are forcing students to stay at school (detention) and forcing kids not to come to school (suspension). When troubled kids come from troubled families, and when an alternative to school is staying at home and playing World of Warcraft, I think we need to look closely at the consequences of suspending students. I am supportive of other approaches such as restorative justice that provides a safe, moderated space for the victims and perpetrators to discuss and for the community to heal. logo


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