Our school district is growing rapidly, and that growth provides additional resources and opportunities. Growth also presents challenges, because it requires new facilities, additional staff, and higher costs as educational programs expand. Those challenges can be met with a balanced approach and good planning. Keeping proper pace with our growth ensures that we can meet the educational needs of our students without overburdening the taxpaying patrons who support the district.
Technology opens abundant possibilities to enhance the quality of education. Continuing to integrate technology into the learning environment and teaching our students how to access, organize, and evaluate the wealth of information at their fingertips is a critical 21st century skill our students must develop. Embracing technology offers the potential to deliver general educational curriculum at efficient cost, to expand the learning environment beyond the walls of the classroom, and to support the continuing education needs and development goals of our top-notch teachers. Most importantly, technology offers the chance for each student to explore subjects specific to their personal interests in support of their educational and career goals.
Everyone in the school community – students, parents, staff and the school board – is accountable for the physical and emotional safety of our kids. The school board plays an important leadership and coordination role to foster a safe learning environment. The district’s safety policies must be practical and understandable so they can be reliably followed and fairly enforced. Because many safety threats are preventable, it is wise to invest in an open, collaborative culture that can identify and resolve emerging threats before they become serious incidents. Students should be taught – at school and at home – to treat others with dignity and respect. Beyond investing in prevention, the board should emphasize preparedness planning and ensure staff is expertly trained to address threats in progress. Facility enhancements that improve physical security and fit an educational environment should also be implemented.
A great school system has a significant impact on the social and economic character of the community that supports it. One cannot flourish without the other, which is why a strong partnership between school leaders, community leaders, and the citizens of the district is vital. I place high priority on community collaboration. By planning and working together, we can invest our resources wisely and share in the benefits of growth and prosperity.