Currently, parents have one option when it comes to communicating grievances—an antiquated reporting process. It is a time consuming process with results and actions that lack transparency. I speak from direct experience helping a parent file a grievance through 3 stages. This process not breed trust in the resolution; it does not restore parent-teacher collaboration; and importantly does not benefit the children we serve. I hope to cultivate a healthy partnership between the two in order to bring out the brightest and best of our students along with new training methods for teachers and a standard of transparency among all parties.
Making Academics a Priority
Students have endured tremendous amounts of distress and distractions over the past few years. It’s no wonder they’re struggling to keep up academically. They may even feel cynical about education after watching assigned videos that are entertaining and salacious but clearly lacking in redeeming educational value. I reviewed several assigned videos and found that such videos are produced by companies who do not even have one educator on the board – apparently selling videos is the goal. Academics should always be a priority but after the lockdown, given the resulting loss in learning and increased psychological problems, academics has to be a Code Red priority. Every minute has to have academic value. We need to evaluate the curriculum and take advantage of every available opportunity for academic enrichment.
Innovation and Response to Challenges
The educational climate is changing in Texas, and our public school system could look very different a few years from now. We are already seeing a dip in enrollment in Plano ISD – two campuses are currently at 50% enrollment. Board members will have to respond to challenges and institutional changes. It will affect everything from teacher retention to finances to enrollment. It will require innovation and parental involvement to forge a stronger district in the midst of change.
Responsible Budgeting and Proactive Planning
The minimum required of the school board is responsibly stewarding funding and keeping the budget transparent to the public. We can do even better than the minimum. We should be putting protocols in place to allow for student success even when the structure fails. For example, if a long-term substitute is required, student learning should not suffer. There needs to be a predetermined solution for times when the plan deviates or an emergency arises. These are predictable situations that the board can plan for ahead of time.