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Richland School District 400 Director No. 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.
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    Ron Higgins (NP) Retired Engineer/Substitute School Teacher

  • Rick Jansons (NP)

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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) 946-3596
Town where you live Richland, Washington
Experience (300 characters max) Certificated Math Teacher, WA + Calif; Sub teach, K-12, all subjects including bi-lingual + special ed; 7 WA districts, and public + charter schools, inner city LA. School Bus Driver. USMC: helo pilot, Vietnam; retired reserve Lt Col. Instructor/examiner, Naval + civilian reactors. Retired engineer.
Health, safety, and Constitutional rights of students, staff, and parents (most urgent); civics knowledge; instructional methodology (instruction should be individual rather than group)

Revise health education to emphasize dangers of drugs (tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, etc.; legal doesn’t mean safe or healthy); present sex education in age-appropriate gender-separated classes to warn against sexual activity (especially homosexuality) outside of marriage; keep boys and girls separate in locker rooms and restrooms to protect privacy rights and reduce sexual activity; disallow clubs and organizations (such as Planned Parenthood) that encourage adolescent sexual activity or affirm/glamorize unhealthy behavior.

Make vaccinations optional for students and staff, since safety of vaccines is controversial.

To improve the learning environment and safety of students and staff, place violent or disruptive students in separate classrooms; stop placing them in the general student population.

I have worked at both public and charter schools (seven different charter schools) in the inner city of Los Angeles. Public schools were chaotic, and it was a mystery how any learning could ever occur. Charter schools were highly structured, students had to wear white shirts and ties at each one, and the discipline was strict. Students actually learned at the charter schools because the environment was so much more conducive to learning. I therefore support the concept of charter schools. There are many troubling aspects of charter schools, especially in the State of Washington. Public money is being spent without oversight by any elected official, and autonomy as far as curriculum and student dress and conduct is somewhat limited. These aspects of charter schools must be satisfactorily addressed before I would support them.
Student testing is needed to assess the school’s performance based on the progress of the children, but excessive testing detracts from instructional time and produces stress on the students that is avoidable. One example was the end-of-course testing in biology; the teachers with whom I interacted thought such testing was wasteful.
The starting time for elementary schools should be later than the starting time for secondary schools. Younger children need sleep more than older children, so the starting time for their schools should be later. In addition, if all of the students started at the same time, there would need to be twice as many buses to accommodate all of the students. Pasco staggers the start times of secondary and elementary schools so that the buses that are used for the secondary schools can then be used for the elementary schools; thus, Pasco reduces the number of buses needed to transport their students.
Graduation rates can be improved by making courses more relevant, eliminating the requirement for courses such as Algebra 2, the skills for which are not needed unless the student desires to pursue post-high school study in the fields of science, engineering, or mathematics. Additional individual counseling and assistance to struggling students may improve their attitude and commitment.
I would emphasize and encourage the positive characteristic of courtesy, rather than the negative characteristic of not bullying. Students, indeed everyone, should focus on positive rather than negative. Students need to be taught how to disagree without being disagreeable. Bullies should be held accountable for their actions and disciplined. If bullying persists, the perpetrators should be expelled and kept away from the general student populace. Certain “pressure groups,” some of which use the word “rights” in their name, are some of the biggest bullies around and are a threat to the legitimate rights of the students, parents, and staff.
Students need to be instructed on our foundational documents such as the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Washington State Constitution. When students graduate, they should know what the function of government is, what a republic is, what makes laws and edicts valid, what our rights are, where our rights are codified, the source of our rights, how to be an informed citizen when many of the sources of information may be unreliable, and why it is incumbent upon citizens to be involved in their community and be informed, participating voters. I would also require them to attend meetings of our city council, school board, or county commission, in order to see government in action.
Education is paramount; disruptive students need to be addressed individually, which may not be possible in a classroom setting. Don’t sacrifice the majority of students to patronize a disruptive one. Suspension should only be used as a last resort, but some students lack the maturity to learn in a classroom or group situation, so they cannot be allowed to remain in the class if the other students are to be able to learn.

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