The School Board functions to implement the desires of the Sarasota County Community. In the past, it has felt that the community just had to take what the School Board members wanted whether or not the community was behind the decision.
Moving forward we must elect Board Members who will work closely and in partnership with the community and not elect School Board Members who have other obligations or loyalties to outside groups or individuals.
Our Students, Families, Teachers, Staff, and Administrators must always come first in our decisions. Sarasota County Schools are not a piggy bank for outside interests and will not be bought and sold to enrich others with taxpayer dollars.
The new Superintendent will be working for the School Board and not the other way around. This must be made crystal clear to any of our new candidates for the Superintendent. The Superintendent will implement the vision and mission of the School Board and will be held accountable for their performance. It is the job of the Superintendent to implement the daily executive management of our Schools and be our leader in both Administration and Education. Our new Superintendent must be held to the highest ethical and professional standards and set an example to everyone at Sarasota County Schools and our Community.
It is the School Board Member’s job to manage the Superintendent, manage the SCS budget and be excellent stewards of the taxpayers’ money, negotiate with the Union and work in good faith partnership to advance the pay, opportunities, and professional development of our teachers and within the constraints of good fiscal policy. The School Board members also enact policies and procedures on the day to day implementation of State mandates and directives. It is this implementation that we need to strive to balance the legislation from the State to the practical reality of the needs of our students, teachers, staff, and community.
It is also the School Board Members’ job to advocate at the local, county, and State levels for our schools and Public Schools and Public Education every chance we get.
Create a community action committee that meets every week to discuss SCS issues in the evening so that most people can attend
Create a student action committee that meets every week
Create a teacher and staff action committee that meets every week
Create an administrator action committee that meets every week
Fill every open position at the District with qualified and certified candidates
Raise teachers and staff pay to the top 5% in the State. Sarasota is expensive, that is the reality. We need to have realistic wages so that we can recruit and retain the best possible teachers for our students. Our children deserve nothing less.
Increase mental health training for all of our employees and SCS police officers. Make sure every school has a mental health professional and an SCS police officer assigned and staffed.
Increase physical education at every level at our schools. A healthy lifestyle and physical activity reduces stress and provides a healthy outlet for the students.
Review administration, teacher, and staff organization and look for ways we can adjust our resources in a proactive manner to anticipate our needs and not just react to issues that occur.
Implement a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and bullying and create detailed and clear policies and procedures that address these issues while making sure that due process is followed.
Reduce the overall testing burden on our teachers and students. We must find ways to provide teachers with more flexibility and time to teach (Isn’t that why we want quality and certified teachers? Otherwise anyone could stand in front of the students and read a script and a PowerPoint). We also must remember our students are so much more than a test score! Our schools should be a fun, encouraging, challenging environment to prepare our students for their next steps in career, college, or both.
Work with our community and business leaders to find career opportunities for our traditional students and also our ESE students. Too many times families how to move out of the area after our ESE students finish their time at our schools. We need to make sure that these students can be a valuable part of our community and have opportunities to be as self-sufficient and productive as they can be.
There are so many more issues that also need to be addressed but I hope that this provides a high-level description of what I would like to do at our schools. Please contact me for any specific questions or clarifications.
As always, thank you for your support!