The role of a school board can at times be very challenging.
We are elected by our constitutes to represent them as the owners of our school district. As an entire board, we sit at the very center of representative governance. Each board member is filling an office because the voters placed us there; they themselves are not there, but have chosen a board member to be their proxy.
Acting upon this proxy, the board is obliged to try to lead their constituents (especially when they may not recognize the consequences of their demands) to a different place or level of understanding. This requires difficult decisions that must reflect the priority questions of: “How are the children? and “Does our work on this issue improve achievement for every child?” The key word here is “every.” Acting as a whole, the board must expect every child to benefit by growing in their learning.
A year dealing with COVID has been a huge bump in the road. As the board strove to make achievement for every child our focus, we were forced to consider safety as a priority. It has not been a fabulous year to collectively recognize consequences of decisions, as these have been defined so differently by groups in our community. But now, we are putting this year behind us as we move forward to focus on student growth. Now we return to a full 5-day week of in-person school with no masks and normal activities, as set forth in the District’s plan for next year and a laser like focus on student learning.
The board is committed to leading and serving while representing ALL the owners of RCAS.
We must focus on student success and not on the narrower concerns of the varied subgroups of adults within the community. We have begun work to establish a rigorous cycle of systematic monitoring and accountability at all levels which will focus on achievement and learning growth for every student. This is the true work of
We will do this through policies which reflect the values of this community. Through a recently adopted extensive outreach plan, we will engage with all members of the community as we bring these policies before you for input and modification. Currently, the district is working towards adopting assessment tools which will allow us to measure if students are growing in their learning. We will use the information obtained from these assessments and other measurable indicators to make student academic growth the focus of our board meeting agendas. We will hold the Superintendent and the staff accountable to achieve the results the community desires by focusing on students’ needs versus adults needs.
The current board has begun this work, but as we face the upcoming election cycle, we share concern that the results of dealing with the COVID pandemic will derail our focus on students and place it, instead, on politics. As you contemplate casting your vote for a new board member, please consider if your candidate will join the board in creating the focus defined above or if their interest lies somewhere else. Please make sure your vote goes to someone who isn’t dwelling on the rear-view mirror due to their political “take” on COVID or the rhetoric of the day, but is prepared to work for a future focused on student success.