I am continuing the series of answering questions that people have written in. Please keep them coming, I am serious about Increasing the quantity and quality of our communication. Here is two part question that is very important.
Thanks for asking! Here are the things I love about our district:
Warm, caring and engaged teachers. We have so many dedicated teachers who are committed to our children and the district. They spend countless hours serving in and outside the classroom.
The forward thinking, integrity, and leadership of our four principals. Much like the teachers they work tirelessly to make sure each teacher has the resources they need to succeed. (I have spent a time with many of them in various committees and I know they are devoted to making their classrooms a place where learning thrives, parents are involved and kids are growing in character).
An intimate integration of schools and families. I appreciate the accessibility of the teachers and staff. I enjoy that the principals are reachable and know my children. (They even know my name!) . I receive personal emails about how my sons are behaving and performing in the class. Likewise, I can share with our teachers my concerns and goals for my children. Even though Gilbert has continued to grow from it’s single-building history, I desperately want to try our best to keep a familiar, welcoming and intimate feel. We might not be as small as we once were, but we can try to preserve our communal spirit.
Partnering with Parents – (extending the previous value…) I love that my sons’ teachers have known our family and understand our objectives for our kids. Like many parents, we look to the school to help us raise our children – we share this role together. It is crucial that we are able to partner together to develop the intellectual and character side of our kids. I appreciate the partnership I’ve formed with our boys’ teachers, and I want this to continue.
A city wide commitment to our schools and the schools involvement in the community. The small homecoming parade, to the Colors of Cancer 5K Run/Walk for Joyce, are examples of the shared enrichment of our community.1
Buildings that are physically close. (This is less of a value, but still something I appreciate.) Any child in Gilbert is capable of walking to all four schools. This is fantastic. I am very thankful that past board and community members made the decision to keep the buildings close together.
Short answer: To trust our administrators and teachers to pick the best cirriculum. And the board’s job would be to give them the resources and support they need to purchase the supplies and teach these subjects.
My only suggestion, given the limited knowledge I have of our current programs, is to encourage extra curricular opportunities for students to explore these fields. I am sure I will have a lot more thoughts on this if I am elected. I mean, I am a
nerd computer programmer and have a degree in computer science. So these topics are really interesting to me. As I mentioned in my initial post on running for the school board I think there is a lot of opportunity for students to learn math, science and programming in creative ways outside of the classroom. We have great parents and a university full of resources a few miles away. I bet we could come up with STEM related afterschool programs to suppliment the classroom learning.
On that note, please contact me, brian@BitByteYum.com, if you are interested in helping or leading an after school programming class. Audience would be middle school and/or high school students.
One practical example is to expand the influence of Gilbert High School Athletic’s to the different youth sports programs. John Barbier and BJ Terrones have done a fantastic job starting up a basketball parks and rec program, and bringing their coaching expertise to our young players. Similarly, I was talking with the boys high school soccer coach, Bradley Jordison, and he mentioned having his players help the Gilbert Soccer Club with skills and practices. It is these kinds of opportunities that demonstrate the school and city working together for the development of our children. ↩