Guest Columnist

Jacobo: No one-size-fits-all approach to education

Rafael Jacobo is a candidate for Cedar Rapids School Board district 4.

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to serve on the Cedar Rapids School Board representing countless students, parents, staff and community members. Cedar Rapids has continued to change and grow during my term. There have been numerous housing and commercial developments as well as improvements and additions to infrastructure and community amenities. These developments, improvements, and additions have our City poised for continued population growth in the future.

Population growth means the likelihood of our schools serving more students. Students in our District come from all backgrounds, nationalities, and socioeconomic status. Our District recognizes that action is needed to prepare for the future of our students, their families, and staff. This is embodied in the district vision (Every Learner: Future Ready) and mission (To ensure all learners experience a rigorous and personalized learning experience so they have a plan, a pathway and a passion for their future).

Preparing for the future means changing and evolving programs and providing opportunities and choice for all learners in all settings while recognizing that education is an equalizing force in the lives of all students from all backgrounds. The opportunities provided to students are of enormous value and importance as they progress through life. Recent District digital learning initiatives have further integrated technology in our schools by putting a computer in the hands of every High School student. This integration has spurred development and proficiency of 21st Century skills for all students in addition to helping address inequity and student achievement gaps.

There is no longer a “one size fits all” approach to education. Students and families have a choice related to personalized, project-based, and magnet learning options. These options are available in Elementary, Middle School, and High School. The program offerings in our District make it clear that there are multiple paths students can take to receive an education and ultimately succeed.

My wife and I are proud to know that one of our children is a recent graduate and that two others are among the students in our District. Serving on our School Board is important to me as I can provide guidance on the educational offerings that are the foundation for future leaders. If reelected, I will continue to be collaborative and considerate of all points of view to help identify problems and solutions and I will continue to act without bias or a personal agenda.

Rafael Jacobo is a candidate for Cedar Rapids School Board district 4.

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