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Louis Riel: Ward 2

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WARD 2 - (2 to be elected)

 

Mike Daoust

1. Are you an incumbent trustee? Have you served or run at other political levels? Are you running for a political party, and if so, which one?

 Yes. No. No.

2. Do you have children enrolled in or graduated from this division? Are/were any of your children home-schooled, or enrolled in an independent school?

Yes. My 2 sons have attended schools in the division for most of their elementary years and recently graduated from french immersion high school in the division.(2007 and 2010)

3. List five issues which you believe your division’s school board will have to deal with in the next year, and state your position on these issues.

  1. Declining enrolment of students. Our budgets must reflect this demographic reality. We must reduce staffing as student populations continue to drop. It is NOT fiscally responsible nor defendable to maintain staffing levels when (if) overall student count is reducing.
  2. Technical and vocational education. The delivery models must continue to promote and facilitate easier access to our tech/voc programs. Students must be better prepared for an ever changing and expanding labour market.
  3. Healthy life choices. I fully support healthy policies that promote nutritional food choices and regular physical activities. I supported policies that have banned artificial trans fats and carbonated drinks from our school division. Breakfast and snack programs are a great way to level the educational "playing field" for under nourished students.
  4. Safe learning environment. Policies must support zero tolerance for bullying, destructive social networking and drug/alcohol use in our schools. Policy must continue to address the current realities of technology and change in step or anticipate issues that may reduce the safety of all our students.

4. List your top five capital priorities for your division and which you would favour your board submitting to the province for funding, in descending order of priority.

Building of a new school in the south east quadrant of our division.

5. What percentage increase in annual salary would be appropriate for teachers in your division? Would you reduce, maintain or increase the number of teachers in your division?

Salary increases should be tied in to the consumer price index (cpi) or inflation. To suggest one fixed % is a not an appropriate response for tax payers or teachers and staff. Staffing must reflect student populations and the changing demographics of our divisional students. Immigration, behavioural issues and special needs greatly influence staffing decisions.

6. Should the province lift its moratorium on school closings? Is or are there a school or schools in the division which should be reviewed for closure because of low enrolment? Which one(s)?

Yes. This moratorium does NOT take into account the educational needs of our students and the financial responsibilities of being efficient with the resources available. How can a school with under 10 students be justified? Under the current moratorium a school with NO students MUST remain open?! Our students' educational needs must be the priority when contemplating school closures.

7. Would you accept the province’s tax incentive grant and agree to freeze property taxes, even if it meant cutting jobs, services or programs?

Yes. I have supported acceptance of the TIG and while we reduced our budget to qualify for the grant, we were able to it without a noticeable reduction in services or programming!

8. Would you increase property taxes? If so, what percentage increase is acceptable and for what specific reason(s)?

No. I believe we can reduce taxes by keeping our budgets in line with reducing student populations and reviewing teacher/student ratios, which have a huge impact on the overall budget considerations. Lobbying for increased provincial funding is the other major area which directly impacts property tax levels. If the province provided 100% of educational funding, the discussion of property tax concerns would be eliminated.

9. Do you believe in the so-called no-fail, social promotion policy? Should "failed" students repeat a school year? Should students be docked marks for late assignments?

No. Teachers, parents,students and administrators must have the flexibility to what is best for the specific situation at hand. Life is NOT black and white. Some students would be better served being held back while others may better off moving on to the next grade level. Teachers would be in the best position to determine if a student should or should not be docked marks for late assignments.

10. Do you believe in standardized tests? For what subjects and grades? What proportion of the final mark should they should be worth?

I believe in objective testing, observations and surveys that provide boards and taxpayers with quantative and qualitative measures that can confirm evidence of learning and on going progress of student achievement. While literacy and numeracy could be the starting point, I believe all areas of a students progress should be accounted for:educational,emotional,social and physical. Without such reporting how do we know how are students are doing? Are they improving or struggling?

 

 

Chris Sigurdson

1. Are you an incumbent trustee? Have you served or run at other political levels? Are you running for a political party, and if so, which one?

I am not an incumbent. I have never run for school trustee before but I did run for the provincial legislature 25 years ago when I was in university. I am not running for any party.

2. Do you have children enrolled in or graduated from this division? Are/were any of your children home-schooled, or enrolled in an independent school?

My children attend school in this division and in this ward. None are home schooled or in independent schools.

3. List five issues which you believe your division’s school board will have to deal with in the next year, and state your position on these issues.

  1. Supporting daycares and before and after school care within the schools
  2. Clarity of report cards
  3. reduce ratio of students per classrooms
  4. support immersion
  5. maintain property taxes

4. List your top five capital priorities for your division and which you would favour your board submitting to the province for funding, in descending order of priority.

  1. Conversion of unused space to daycares
  2. playgounds
  3. improve athletic facilities especially gyms
  4. text books
  5. resource teachers

5. What percentage increase in annual salary would be appropriate for teachers in your division? Would you reduce, maintain or increase the number of teachers in your division?

I would like to see the number of teachers increased but I cannot properly answer this question without more information.

6. Should the province lift its moratorium on school closings? Is or are there a school or schools in the division which should be reviewed for closure because of low enrolment? Which one(s)?

I support the moratorium on school closings. I would like to see more creative uses for low enrollment schools such as switching to immersion or specialized learning centres.

7. Would you accept the province’s tax incentive grant and agree to freeze property taxes, even if it meant cutting jobs, services or programs?

I cannot commit to that. If circumstances warrant it, the board should consider it.

8. Would you increase property taxes? If so, what percentage increase is acceptable and for what specific reason(s)?

I would generally oppose any tax increase but it would be reckless to promise that they would never rise.

9. Do you believe in the so-called no-fail, social promotion policy? Should "failed" students repeat a school year? Should students be docked marks for late assignments?

Yes I believe in the social promotion policy. Children should not be left behind. All efforts should be made to ensure the success of each individual student. I also believe that students should docked marks for late assignments. Working with time-lines is a crucial skill for kids to learn. As a lawyer, I have to be prepared on time, all the time. Schools need to teach that.

10. Do you believe in standardized tests? For what subjects and grades? What proportion of the final mark should they should be worth?

I don't believe that standardized tests are necessary but I believe in standardized, plain language report cards.

 

 

Did not respond:

Mike Ducharme

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