Friday, October 30, 2009

Ann Wasson

District One school board candidate answers The Hillsider questionnaire (vote for one)

See questionnaire here

1. Most important responsibility
Our first priority is to make sure we do everything we can to provide the best quality education to the students of our district. This means that we need to educate all children in safe, healthy environments and offer educational programs that address all levels of how students learn. As a Board we also have fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers and to establish policies and procedures for the district. Finally, it is our job to supervise and oversee the superintendent.
2. Nutritional health The nutritional health of our students is extremely important. Board and staff need to advocate for healthy choices of food and beverages given to our children and sold in our buildings. As a Board member I helped set up a committee of students, parents, dietician and administrators to look at what needs to be done to make sure our schools are healthier places. To date, all of our schools are soda free and meal plans are being examined to make sure they have healthier choices for students.
3. Red Plan and soothing divides
I strongly support the Red Plan. It was community driven, it addresses excess space, safety concerns, building ineffiencies and is a fiscally responsible plan. I disagree with alternative plans that have been suggested, they cost more to the taxpayers and do less. They also postpone the tough decisions about which schools to close for ten years.
4. Federal No Child Left Behind Act.
In theory, NCLB is a good tool but unfortunately the way in which is implemented is a poor measurement of student progress and school accountability. We need an alternative test, like the NWEA, that tests up to four times per year and immediately pinpoints a child’s deficiencies or strengths. These way teachers can make adjustments to accommodate student needs in lesson plans.
5. Weapons policy/small pocket knives?
No. We live in a changed world where we cannot tolerate weapons or bullying. We must keep our schools safe for all children.
6. What role does the U.S. Constitution play in school board decisions? As a School Board we adhere to policies and governance by the State School Board Association. The federal government advocates for education and helps fund education. Together we want what is best for all children.
7. Class size
I would love to see class size reduced. When having to face budget cuts, it has always been my first priority to keep cuts as far away from the classrooms as possible. Unfortunately, the state funding system is “broken” resulting in less money for our district. Until state and federal funding is addressed for education, it is likely class sizes will remain high as every district has budget shortfalls. I would support a community program levy to decrease class sizes.