Everyone is asking or demanding that the Lake Washington School District graduate students with a diploma that is meaningful and that these graduates can be successful at the next level. The next level can be college, vocational training, military, or the work force. In order to achieve this, the Lake Washington School District must provide each student with the tools that allow them to succeed. As an experienced Board member, I am prepared to continue the work necessary to maintain our outstanding achievements.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I was elected a member of the Lake Washington School Board in 1995 and again in 1999.  I have consistently worked for improved educational opportunities, program choices that meet individual student needs, effective communication, community involvement, fiscal responsibility and a safe environment.  

Improved educational opportunities must provide programs that meet the educational needs of ALL students, regardless of their learning styles.

To achieve this end, I
      ¨   support programs that teach basic skills.        
      ¨   support programs that assist in identifying each student’s strengths and areas of need.  This includes using the results of standardized tests as a guide.
   ¨   support learning that focuses on individual students and provides the skills necessary to succeed.
      ¨   believe students and parents should have choices in educational programs to meet interests and skills.
Improved educational opportunities also means assessing our schools and their record in improving student achievement.

To achieve this end, I
      ¨ encourage the reporting of standardized and other test results for each school and program in a clear,     understandable format.
¨ work to assure that staff, parents and community understand what is being tested and why.
¨      support curricula that challenge all students including expansion of AP classes in the high schools.
¨      believe students should be able to demonstrate and apply what they have learned.
¨      believe a high school diploma should be a meaningful symbol of educational accomplishment.

Program Choices for Students means having academic programs within schools to meet all students' learning styles as well as choice schools.

To achieve this end, I

  • have supported formation of choice schools throughout my time as a school board director
  • support a variety of programs within the schools - AP, Cambridge
  • support having choice schools and other programs available for all students.

Effective communication means providing accurate and timely information to the public.  It also means listening to what the members of our public are saying.

To achieve this end, I
¨      encourage the LWSD to use a variety of means of communication (in mailings, on the website, in newspapers, and through the schools) to share the successes of our students and staff.
¨      emphasize that reports regarding school achievement show impact on education in a clear and straightforward fashion including the impact of No Child Left Behind requirements.
¨      encourage maintenance of a variety of methods (i.e., phone, letter, email, website, surveys) for members of our community to communicate with the District and Board members.
¨      encourage direct communication between those with concerns to the personnel directly involved with the issue. I facilitate and provide information on how to do this effectively.

Community involvement in our schools includes not only our parents but also other residents and members of the business community.

To achieve this end, I
      ¨   believe education is at its best when schools, parents, community, and businesses work together.
      ¨   support shared decision making at the local school level.
      ¨   support and encourage community input to the district in areas such as student achievement, boundary changes, new building construction, modernization, and budget.
¨      insist that input processes be meaningful for all participants and continue to work on improvement in how we communicate.

Fiscal responsibility has many aspects.  One is to provide an accurate budget that is based on future projections as well as past experience.  Another is to provide reports to the public that are understandable.  Thirdly, it means listening to the community’s questions, concerns, and ideas regarding the finances of the district and responding clearly and directly.

To achieve this end, I
      ¨   work to assure that the maximum amount of available dollars goes to the classroom which over the past several years has become more difficult due to decreasing state revenues.

¨      encourage the distribution of understandable budget materials from the District that are helpful to the Board and community.
¨      encourage the explanation of revenue sources and the factors that affect the amount of funding the District receives annually.
¨      inform our community of state and federal mandates and the impact they have on our budgeting and programs.
¨      work with state and federal legislators to understand and explain how laws, regulations, community expectations, and student make-up impact our budget process.
¨      monitor the budget to assure that a five percent (5 %) reserve is maintained as this practice has resulted in the highest bond ratings for LWSD among Washington schools.

A safe environment for Student and Staff members continues to be a major concern of our community and staff. 

To achieve this end, I
      ¨   support the District Safety Committee (composed of district personnel, citizens and law enforcement)     in making suggestions and recommendations to ensure the safety of all in our district facilities.
      ¨   encourage training of staff to recognize and effectively manage behaviors of bullying and being bullied and other forms of harassment.
      ¨   continue to assure that emergency preparedness procedures are implemented and reviewed annually.