Guidance Counselors are the key to helping students transition and stay on task towards graduation. I want to increase the number of Guidance counselors in our schools. Guidance Counselors play an important role for students transitioning from the eighth grade to ninth grade. Counselors are key to ensuring students register for the correct classes that will prepare them for a successful career as a high school student. Guidance Counselors help seniors find scholarship opportunities that will allow them to continue their education past high school.
Training For Educators
As the school system changes so do the needs of the educators. Providing professional development to prepare them for those changes will be key to making sure HCS has a successful school year. Professional development can be used to learn new techniques of teaching a subject or how to implement new changes made by the district. It's the responsibility of the Board of Education to ensure that educators have the resources they need to improve their skills.
To bring a solution to any problem you must first have accountability. It is important to understand where and how problems occur in order for them to be solved. Accountability is not about pointing fingers but simply understanding the source of the problems facing our schools.
Over the last four years the HCS has done an excellent job of providing educational resources to all schools across the district. The tools are in place to help bridge the education gap but they are not always fully utilized in the classroom. A simple example would be student presentation at the elementary school level. Some schools teach students to use PowerPoint to do their presentation and school projects. Others schools do not utilize the technology at all so those students miss out on that learning opportunity. As a school district we need to insure we are utilizing all the tools at our disposal to educate students. If professional development is required for our educators to better utilize those resources then it is the responsibility of the Board of Education to ensure they receive that information.
A key component to a student receiving a good education is feeling safe in the school. Students with behavior issues should be removed from the classroom and disciplined. Teachers cannot teach students that want to learn if they are constantly handling discipline issue. The implementation of the Behavior Learning Guide should improve that situation. The Behavior Learning Guide should be a living document that is updated based on comments from educators and administrators in our schools.
IMPROVE READING PROFICIENCY IN GRADES K-3
Learning to read accurately, fluidly, with good comprehension and stamina is crucial set of skills for school success. I want to increase the amount of time at each grade level spent on teaching the fundamentals of reading. Once a student moves past the third grade they transition from learning to read to reading to learn. This is a key moment in progression of a student. If he or she is not on grade level with reading the student will struggle in other subjects like math and science. The increased time spent on the fundamentals can ensure a successful educational experience for the students.
STUDENT POPULATION GROWTH IN THE IB PROGRAM
Develop programs in the feeder schools to increase the number of students prepared to take and pass the IB curriculum. In order to to improve our high schools we must provide a solid foundation at the lower grades for students to be prepare for success with the advanced material of a high school IB program.
STRATEGIC VISIONING FOR PUBLIC INPUT
Create a strategic visioning team that will host events for the community to collect ideas on the programs they would like to see in our schools. That same team can create vision boards and present all the collected ideas to the community. The community can then select the ideas they feel have the most value to our students. The school systems can use those ideas to help strategically plan what the community would like to see next in our school system. Using a process likes this will help get the community engaged and help mold the vision for our schools.
PARTNERSHIPS FOR CAREER PROGRAMS
Partnerships with local two year colleges and companies in the area can help with workforce development. Partnerships with local colleges can potentially offer students the opportunity to potentially graduate from high school with a diploma and a two year degree. The HCS can partner with corporations to provide students with the opportunity to intern in their field of study. The two partnerships provided students with the academic skills and work history to immediately be productive in the workforce. A program like the one I have described can create the right workforce at the right time for companies in the area.