In your opinion what is the most critical issue facing the school board at this time and how do you plan on addressing it?
Much of the recent (teacher-government) dispute centered on class size and composition. Composition …what does it mean? In a perfect world each class would be composed of children ready, willing and able to learn. In reality, some children enter the system without many of the skills to function in a class. It can take years to find out if there is an underlying disability (even if the child requires extra help or extra supervision, he or she is not designated and composition concerns for that class are increased). Now imagine a dozen kindergarten children arrive at a school requiring extra support. A situation like this happened at one of our rural schools last year. Fortunately, the district was able to find extra supports and these students will be able to move forward.
Unfortunately, the Student Services Department–the one tasked with finding those extra supports–is the department hardest hit by this year’s tough budget. It no longer has the flexibility to move that quickly. Maybe rural parents just need more access to preschool programs/ early learning opportunities? One thing is certain, the world is changing! This district is dedicated to educating children to be ready to meet this future and I am committed to helping rural communities be supported in having equitable access to the supports our children need to be part of that change.