RE-ELECT William Shaw for School Board
Experience and Leadership - ''keep Bill onboard''

NUMBER ONE GOAL:
The ongoing process of implementing
the District strategic Plan
 

 

Anacortes School District Strategic Plan:

Quality Instruction and Curriculum

Partnerships

Social-Emotional Learning

Equity

Stewardship 

I most look forward to the continuing the process of implementing the district’s new strategic plan, which was the outcome of effort of many parents, citizens, students, teachers, and the board.   

Which components are already working smoothly and which require some fine-tuning?  Most would agree that the school district is as good as it is becuase of its quality instruction and curriculum.  With continued stewardship and investment this can be maintained and continue to be as excellent as it is. However, there are things we can improve in Anacortes. 
I believe the issues that deserve the most attention, and consistent with the strategic plan and mission, are Diversity and Equity in Education and careful stewardship of the Budget

 

Issues 

Diversity and Equity in Education

Budget 

 Diversity and Equity in Education 

Community members helped develop these pillars of the strategic plan and there is great interest in seeing true movement on these fronts. I am excited about this. This is an area where the administration must continue to listen hard to members of the community and be open to learning from other districts. 

              Previous experience working with diversity and equity issues in public education:
Athough many issues and solutions are local and cannot be transferred directly, I would like to tell a story about my time working in Monterey, CA. There I became involved in, and eventually called upon to lead, a movement to start a new public charter.  This movement was a citizen-community response to an unpopular superintendent decision to close a beloved school with long-lasting roots in the city. Working with the County Board of Education and community leaders from a variety of stakeholder groups I learned a great deal about diversity and equity in the public schools in Central California and the importance of ensuring that all students have access to available resources within a district, The County Board helped push for the demographics of the new school to be roughly similar to the original school, and that goal has been met: the school is 33% low-income and in terms of California’s breakdown of student composition: 41% Hispanic, 37% White, and 15% two or more races – see   (https://www.greatschools.org/california/monterey/25692-Bay-View-Academy/)

Turning words into action: a concrete example.   An example of a decision made in response to a need of diverse families and students was  the development of morning and after-school programs for working families who did not have the ability to have a parent around in the middle of the day to pick up a child (Monterey public schools lack funding for school bus transportation). Parents paid for the childcare, but the school provided the  program enrollment infrastructure, location, staff hiring, etc.  This was one example of working with families to understand the needs of all learners while working under intense budget constraints. 

What are some of the goals for social-emotional learning and equity in Anacortes?

Although standardized test scores are among the highest in the northwest region, 2017 data indicate an achievement gap with students of poverty disproportionately represented among students not meeting state standards nor graduating from high school. The district has recently succeeded in providing donor funds to allow all students to participate in clubs and athletics, for which fees can be a barrier for many families. However, more work is needed to understand the details of barriers to success. The goals of the strategic plan in this category are the following: 

  • Develop district-wide understanding of equity

● Close achievement and opportunity gaps

● Build awareness of childhood impacts of trauma and how to build resiliency

● Remove obstacles to participation by reducing or eliminating school fees and by

providing transportation for extracurricular activities

● Provide rich learning opportunities for students with special needs

We have made some progress on removing obstacles to extracurricular participation and are working on understanding ways to close the achievement gap.

One of the major next priorities will  thus be to work on providing opportunities and access to rich learning opportunities to students with special needs. 

We can also continue to improve our development of district-wide understanding of needs, not only to understand equity, but in order to act to create real solutions and game-changing models of support in a student and families’ life.  Developing this district-wide understanding of needs will mean real conversations, reaching out to students and parents who may not have been talked to before

 

Budget 

Meeting the above priorities will take funds to implememt, and unfortunately the recent year has brought some financial difficulties, with changes in legislative funding and restriction on our ability to raise local taxes. 

It is the job of a public school board director to make tough decisions. It is my job to seek input from you, the community. Please let me know your thoughts and concerns. It will fall on the board to carefully manage student-centered budgets framed around the goals of the strategic plan, while understanding and communicating limitations made due to budgetary constraints.  

The school board has an opportunity to collaborate with local government leaders to communicate our needs to the state legislature and I believe we may be successful in work to improving our current state funding model.