Overall quality education involves all aspects of the curriculum, programs, parent/teacher team effort, effective budget responsibility and the evaluation of policies to ensure all needs are being met for our students to reach their potential.
15 years ago we ranked near the top in our nation, but now, due to many poor decisions negatively impacting our students, we sit near the lowest ranking. Our children are suffering both academically and mentally. We need to reflect on systems that worked, and create a set of policies that focus on our students needs, without politics and hidden agendas in their lesson plans; Back to Basics educational material to help our children catch up and move forward towards success, especially our Math and Reading curriculum.
Our Teachers are frontline. They need our support.
15 Years ago WCPSS sat near the top in our nation. We have steadily declined, and now we sit at the bottom. Our curriculum is constantly changing, and proven ineffective. This is not only frustration for our students, but our teachers as well. The amount of resources spent is now wasted. The teachers are often put in position to use their own funds. Did you know that many teachers are limited to how many copies they can make for a certain period of time? That could mean shared "dittos," or lack of.
Our teachers are lacking administrative support. They are frustrated, and feel their hands are tied. Limited resources and discipline issues continuously distract from classroom structure. Order is essential in the classroom so teachers can focus on teaching and our children can focus on learning.
There is a large amount of funds spent on salaries, administration salaries, not our teachers salaries. WCPSS is the 15th largest in the nation, but our teachers are not paid at the highest level. We need appropriate teacher pay and resources. We do not need more Bonds or more money put into our education system. We need to better balance our budget, and get rid of waste and ineffective spending.
My goal is to let the teachers teach, support our teachers needs, and incorporate a transparent and effective curriculum and earn our way back to being top in the nation again.
Evaluate our current curriculum and programs, with a strong emphasis on Math and Reading. I will work on implementing new policy changes to close the learning gaps and remove programs that are not effective and replace them with effective programs and policies. Putting changes in place will require follow up to make sure they are in fact helpful and adjust where needed. We are 79% Not-Proficient in Math 1 (high school), 50% not proficient in Reading, and 42% in Biology. The focus should be on immediate damage control and lack of proficiency to help our children with the missing building blocks they require for a solid education.
Special Education and Mental Health need to play an important part in our curriculum. A lot of the current problems in the school system are leading to students suffering emotionally, and having mental strains. Our main focus should be on the welfare of our students, and to provide those tools they need to have a successful education, this includes their mental well-being.
Our teachers are the backbone of education who need our support Teachers feel they do not have the tools necessary to help our children thrive and they feel bureaucracy has their hands tied. We need to get back to basics. It worked in the past, it will work again
There is a need to get our parents back in the classroom and have a more transparent and easily accessible system for our families to form more of a parent-teacher team effort.
Parents need to know what materials and lessons are in the classroom, and provide or receive feedback to know what is working, and what needs adjustments. This should include parents, teachers, and students.
Get back to paper. One of the biggest concerns I hear is how disconnected parents feel that they cannot sit and help their child. Their child is lost on technical issues, fundamental building blocks and they are frustrated. There is too much time and confusion with the many sites necessary to use to complete tasks, rather than spending the time on comprehension and retention.
Parents are also a free resource to help alleviate teacher overload, and help fill in the gaps for students struggling in class. We should utilize this resource. In my many years of volunteering, I have seen how every little bit helps to make sure these children get the resources and assistance that is necessary to make sure that they do not fall through the cracks. Volunteers are a valuable asset to the education of children.
WCPSS is the 15th largest
in the nation
We have near 160,000 students
Only 76 SRO’s
do not have SRO’s)
WCPSS has three drills per year:
Weather, Table Top, Lockdown.
WCPSS does have a decent written policy, but we have much need for improvement. If a lockdown drill is not performed to high standard, it is not repeated. Since there is only one per year, there really is no immediate remediation, or practice, for anything that could be a potential risk. I would like to see more than one of these type drills, at the very least, a repeated drill when corrections could benefit that school.
Key cards are not part of the SRO’s uniform. In fact, there are limited keys, and SRO’s do not have them on hand. If there is an absence or need for more officers, SRO’s may not be able to get in to assist. This can delay response time. SRO instructions may also differ from school to school, which leads to inconsistencies, and may lead to concerns of falling through the cracks.
School safety also requires good behaviors. If teachers and students do not feel safe, we do not have a good learning environment. Teachers are also victims of intimidation and physical harm here in WCPSS. Discipline is a big concern, as well as our mental health and bullying policies. Bullying policy calls for “zero tolerance,” but what does that mean? There is no clear policy on the disciplines, and procedures that take place. Consequences are private, families are often not brought together to work through a situation, nor is there any community or student “service” required for such an offense. ISS seems to be the only threat toward bullying. Too often, the behavior repeats. Do you know that if your child defends themselves, they too might get a suspension or ISS? What messages are we sending to our other students, and the students being bullied?
Mental health, bullying, and discipline are often all intertwined. Having a stronger, transparent policy, along with mental health assistance, can decrease the amount of struggles we face.
A better system of checks and balances, accountability and transparency is necessary..
A careful review of the budget, evaluating current programs and policies, removing underutilized programs and redistributing unused funds to incorporate more effective ideas is needed.
WCPSS receives $2.1 Billion and $400 million in covid funds, and little is spent on the students. The majority of funds have been spent on salaries, administrators and programs not concerning Math and Reading. That is unacceptable. With the amount of learning loss documented why are covid funds not being utilized for specific programs to fill these learning gaps, Special Education and Mental Health assistance. Unspent covid funds could be put toward Math programs/tutors to help with covid learning loss, and increase mental health programs and additional counselors in each school.
Accountability is essential for the funds and salaries being paid out from WCPSS, what are they for, to whom, and are they needed and being utilized properly? What Special Education funds are being spent and where? What is missing? What is working and what is not? We should be reflecting on past successes and failures, and implement new effective policies. Our budget should be clear, and easy to understand. We need to redistribute funds to where they are most effective to help our teachers and students.
WCPSS Parents are struggling with special education at WCPSS. They do not feel heard and are quite lost when it comes to the resources available and who to turn to. Parents feel frustrated, ignored and fear retaliation when trying to advocate for their child’s needs. They feel resistance in receiving the services they require, and some struggle to understand the process and what is available for them. If your child is struggling, it should not be such an arduous process.
Our teachers need to have the aid and tools necessary in the classroom. Special education children require extra help and tools. Students did not receive their services during covid restrictions and shut downs. This made things even worse for them. Remote learning hurt these children and most went without the tools they require to succeed. Even though they have finally returned to the classroom, they do not have what they need to catch up or thrive.
Many are leaving WCPSS to homeschool or turn to private. Parents should have clear and transparent support and accountability for funds and policies set in place. Parents should to be able to provide feedback to advocate for their children to get the best possible support so their child can thrive.
Outcome Based Results
Our students are not failing, we are failing them. WCPSS has put policies and programs into place, and has not followed up to see if they work for our teachers and students; an example of this is our current math program. Change is imperative and it needs to happen quickly, not over several years. Our children are falling through the cracks now. We need accountability to show policies put in place are working and funds are effective where they were allocated.
WCPSS is pushing our students through the system, even though they are lacking the proper building blocks and learning fundamentals that are necessary to succeed. There needs to be less focus on passing and more focus on comprehension and retention.
Follow up is needed to make sure the children are succeeding with the policies put in place.
WCPSS shut these kids down, and we need to open these doors back up for our children to succeed.
Please help Give Education Back to Our Children
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