High School Focus

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

I received this great question over the weekend and want to share a portion of my reply.

QUESTION: I am curious about your plans to support our high school students. Thus far I’ve heard far more time spent talking about elementary kids (not from you specifically, but in general); while that’s important, it’s the high schoolers who have the least amount of time to academically recover from these last 10 months before being expected to move to an adult chapter of life. Is that part of your platform and, given that you haven’t yet navigated high school with your own children, how will you gain the knowledge to do so?

ANSWER: [As a] candidate, my website posted a survey early on to allow parents of any aged students to provide feedback (along with teachers or tax payers, etc). I’ve been very eager to get as much of a litmus as possible and it’s been very helpful.

To address your concern, I can tell you I am absolutely focused on all levels of our district. I sincerely felt that high schoolers for sure got the short end of the “hybrid” stick as the plan was presented; one on which they didn’t even follow through. Our huge high schools could have accommodated labs and niche breakouts but the district didn’t even try.

Most of my friends have high schoolers and are concerned, understandably. Majority have hired tutors or utilized places like C2 Education.

I don’t believe, however, that this is unsolvable! My hope is that the current board is planning for summer options to give students more opportunities to make up for lost time. Tough to have faith in their ambition on that front. If elected, that will be one of my main inquiries and objectives in the Spring. I think it will be imperative for all grades as the district moves forward from the pandemic.

Ultimately, there is so little transparency with the board and superintendent as most of these decisions are done behind closed doors. People are frustrated with everyone-board, Talley, teachers, governor, etc. It’s hard for anyone to discern the who/what/how of it all. I am focused on improving that dynamic so that parents like you have a better understanding of how these decisions are made, at least at the board level (me for sure!),so you can evaluate with as much background as possible.

If your concern is having a board that has skin in the game, I agree that this year is time for leadership that is truly representative of the community . My son will be entering [high school] in 2.5 years so I have skin in the game sooner that later!

I’ve said to many people since announcing my candidacy that I don’t presume to have all the answers but I am dedicated to educating myself on the needs of our district. I’m also intent on hearing from the community and responding in a way that is fully transparent, clear, and maintains the best interest of students.

From my vantage point, solid leadership this past year would not have required a rocket scientist but rather-common sense, creativity, and confidence. I look forward to the opportunity to bring those qualities as a board member.

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