As a former School Board member and past president, I have decided to run again to fill the position to serve our community.
The following items are concerns that I feel are important for the continued growth of an already successful school district.
• Focus on the future along with social and emotional learning. The roll of the school board is to advocate, educate and differentiate for all students and staff. A major challenge I anticipate moving forward would be attracting qualified teachers and administrators due to the lack of candidates.
• Deal with the state’s lack of on-time funding for additional students because of increasing enrollment. Keep the district’s promise to use one-cent sales tax revenue to help ease the burden on homeowners.
• Focus on specialized world-class learning. Improve K-12 programs to prepare students for success in the 21st century. Assist with programs to prepare students for an ever-changing world while maintaining Midwestern education values. Keep up with the upgrading of technology.
Larger class sizes and boundaries will always be a challenge due to our growth. I believe class sizes already are at a maximum. The fifth-sixth grade buildings will assist and free up class room space in the elementary buildings. As parents, grandparents and taxpayers, we want to give our children the best opportunity to learn, and class sizes could affect that. Also, we need to keep in mind our professional teaching staff — one-on-one instructional time is critical for some students, and large class sizes might jeopardize that.
We have to keep in mind that the schools are here to educate all children. That being said, students with disabilities need to be our focus as well.
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I also see an ongoing need to address the safety of students while making the environment as conducive to learning as possible. Providing the best environment includes expanding the look of our schools and providing the work environments that the kids of today will face as adults of tomorrow. Securing our facilities for students and staff is very critical, without making our building a fortress.
My previous experience qualifies me in knowing there are many aspects and challenges to serving on the school board.
Barry Buchholz is a candidate for Linn-Mar School Board.