Let's take back local control! Kids not politics!
Our school board is at a cross roads and self-analysis and course correction is needed. All organizations and businesses need to ask themselves tough questions to make sure the business plan is working to meet desired goals.
The world has changed since I went K-12 in LO schools. It continues to change rapidly in this age of technology as now my daughters go through schools here. How school administrators, school boards and teachers embrace change will greatly impact our students and their future opportunities.
Here are questions I would ask: Are the basic needs of all students being met? Are scarce financial resources and time being used wisely? Are any actions of the current school board causing division and fractured relationships?
It's hard being a kid now. The school district with a functioning school board must first meet the basic needs of all students. Providing an environment where all students can successfully learn should be a priority. Along with making sure our students are warm, safe and dry, a school board should allocate resources to provide social and emotional support so all can thrive academically.
It's hard being a teacher these days because of the diverse needs of our kids. More professional training for our teachers, more emphasis on school culture, more resources for mental health, more focus working with families are of utmost importance to properly support staff and students. Creating professional parent education through parent clubs so that the school board and parents are in tandem on how to deal with the issues would be very beneficial. Teachers need more support in the classroom in order to help struggling students and provide individual academic support to keep them on track.
Scarce resources should result in tough questions about where money should be spent and on which programs. Getting kids college ready or career ready is challenging because of the rapidly changing dynamics of future opportunity paths. The foundational academics of English, science and math remain important but more emphasis on career and technical education should be looked at. Introducing a variety of ways to learn and problem solve can offer long term benefits.
Would lengthening the school day or the academic year be a great investment? Merely meeting the "minimum requirements" is not a practice that the LO I know would be happy with. Why are we accepting these low standards? What about supporting STEM and introducing a world language in elementary schools? What about arts, music and a rigorous PE program in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades? Should we be redrawing the boundary lines so all our children have more equitable experiences? Should we be addressing the issues associated with social media and the bullying and mental health problems that come along with social media communication?
School board members are elected to make decisions beneficial to our kids, our schools and the community. Strong ties to the community and to City government is essential and has broken down. Fractured relationships, lack of transparency and little communication between the board and the citizens is occurring. Outside influences are impacting our local elections. Organized politics are taking over and the current school board does not feel it necessary to involve local stakeholders.
I stand ready to ask tough questions, listen and ask for the support of all local Lake Oswego.
It's about kids! Not politics!
Kelly Calabria is running for Lake Oswego School Board Position 1.
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