Campaign Description

Here's what this campaign is about:

Ensuring equal opportunities in curriculum and programming for all students

Providing our students and faculty with safe, healthy, technology-driven learning environments

Committing to our neighborhood schools

Guaranteeing responsible stewardship of public funds

Celebrating the diversity within our district

Engaging parents to become active participants in the schools

Making data-driven decisions with measurable results

Email us at or call 331-6746

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The BIG Question

Tonight the current Board members will be weighing in on which facilities plan they support.  A? B? Perhaps a combo of the two?  I recently received a question from a local parent and was asked to respond in a blogosphere forum where my answer would be compared to the other non-incumbent candidates. Hope I get points for honesty. Here is the question and my response.

If you were on the board right now, would you vote to close any schools as part of a long-term facilities plan?

The short, honest answer to this question is yes.  When school closure is considered in the context of strategic, long-term comprehensive facilities planning, all scenarios must be weighed and analyzed carefully. Looking ahead to the predicted future needs of the district, facility closures should be considered ONLY IF the following criteria are met:

·    They are considered as part of a broader redistricting plan that contributes to improved facility equity throughout the district.
·   New elementary school constructions and renovations must be completed before any closures occur.
·      There is a clear opportunity to reduce operational costs to the district, therefore ensuring long-term fiscal responsibility.
·      Plans for a school closure are communicated in a transparent fashion to the affected families and neighborhoods with a reasonable proposed time frame of no less than 3 years.
·      Affected families are included in determining a clear plan as to where students will be assigned to attend school at the end of that time period, therefore allowing families to acclimate or adjust their future planning.
·     Teachers at an affected school are included in the conversation and there is open communication regarding future facility teaching assignments.
·     The closure must align with “Child-Centered: Future-Focused” and affected families will have the opportunity to experience long-term benefits to their child’s education.

Usually discussions about closing schools are reserved for districts that are in decline.  Our district is thriving and growing.  With planned commitments to build more cost effective, environmentally friendly 21st century schools we have to try our best to predict demographics and enrollment patterns many decades into the future.

I believe that we should be committed to our existing neighborhood schools, but at this moment in time, we have the opportunity to be proactive about the future of our district.  Provided that the above criteria are met, and the best interest of the entire district is the compass used in our decision making process, then, yes, I would cast that vote.

No comments:

Post a Comment