The role of the County School Board is to help support our County’s high academic standards and our safe learning environments, while providing umbrella services for our local school districts and our students. As a Board Member, I would make certain that views in our community are heard, while supporting the ultimate decisions of our County Board and our local district boards.
In an on-going crisis such as a pandemic, county educational leaders need to be collaborative and flexible to maintain safe and engaging educational solutions. Whether a local school district has adopted distance education or in-person instruction or a combination of both, our role at the County Office of Education should be to work with our local school districts and our county agencies to lend assistance.
The County School Board should sponsor and promote a series of best practices teaching institutes or workshops on all levels to meet the immediate challenges of pandemic distance education and pandemic in-person instruction. Since last March, County teachers are individually and collectively renovating the public-school model that has been used for decades. Teachers need and deserve our support for their tireless efforts. Our long-range goal should be innovative teaching platforms that serve all of our County students for years to come.
The County Education Office needs to expand its educational and workforce partnerships. A goal of doubling or tripling our vocational internships during the next four-year term is crucial. Too many students are pressured to pursue a university degree. A vocational apprenticeship will lead to a productive career for many of our students.
Two priority goals of the County Office of Education that we should strongly support are working with multiple County agencies to expand child care for the families of enrolled students, and helping our local districts to bridge the digital divide, with smart devices and internet access for all of our county students.