Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
St. James - Assiniboia: Silver Heights - Booth ward
SILVER HEIGHTS - BOOTH WARD (3 to be elected)
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 running for school trustee for the first time and feel that it is very important to keep party politics outside of the board room so that we stay objective and focused on our main goal~ the students.
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?
I currently have 3 children attending schools in St. James, 2 in Athlone Elementary in Grades 1 and 5 and my oldest is in grade 9 at Sturgeon Heights Collegiate.
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.
- Building Maintenance- Due to the varying ages of the schools within the St. James Assiniboia School division it is very important for the division to keep up with the maintenance of our schools.
- Costs- government funding is not keeping up with the government mandates; for example mandatory physical education for grade 11 and 12 students, they want the school boards to implement these changes without giving more funding to do so
- Declining enrollment- as our society has less children school boards face tough decisions when enrollment declines about programs
- Shift in demographics- such as families that require English as an alternative language, we need to continue to provide programs for them to help them adjust to their new lives.
- Keeping up with technology- we need to stay competitive in this world of technology by upgrading and improving our labs and computers so our students are on an equal or higher playing field then others.
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.
In this time of declining enrollment , maintaining and upgrading existing buildings and equipment so that they become cutting edge is where I would look to spend capital money.
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?
In order for our students to receive the best education possible you really want to use every resource you have within your division by maintaining the staff you have to the ratio of students and their needs. I feel a cost of living increase for teachers would be appropriate
6. Should the provinc.e 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 feel the moratorium on school closings should be lifted as it should be up to the people in their own neighborhoods to decide what is best for their students in their own school divisions. Nobody wants to see a school close however as a parent and a taxpayer if it meant that by closing one school we could offer more opportunity to our students through amalgamation, then I would!
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?
No I would not as we need to maintain the services and be able to make our own decisions based on what is best for our demographic of students and their needs.
8. Would you increase property taxes? If so, what percentage increase is acceptable and for what specific reason(s)?
As a hopeful trustee I cannot honestly say that I would not raise taxes. As with any budget planning you need to see all the cards laid out on the table to make a tough decision that affects many people in your community.
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?
I believe that the student, parent, teacher and principal need to work on this together. Issues with doing poorly need to be addressed immediately so that the student can get the extra resources they may need in order to pass. I also believe that if a student is struggling in all subjects that they may need to be held back so that it does not affect the rest of their future grades.
We need to hold our students accountable for their actions and unless there are extenuating circumstances for the assignment not being completed they should get docked marks. They need to learn that handing in assignments would not work for them once they get out into the real world and start their careers.
10. Do you believe in standardized tests? For what subjects and grades? What proportion of the final mark should they should be worth?
I feel standardized tests do play a role in our school by identifying where students are struggling within our curriculum as well as allowing us once identified to ensure that those students receive the help they need so that they do not fall behind year after year.
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