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Winnipeg School Division: Ward 3

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WARD 3 (3 to be elected)

 

Mike Babinsky

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 an incumbent trustee. I was first elected in 1995 and was re-elected in 1998, 2002, and 2006. I have always run as an independent school trustee candidate.

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 have six children who have attended public school in the division. Two of my children are still currently attending school in the division, as well as my grandson. Of the four oldest who graduated, two are enrolled in post secondary education, and two have graduated from their post secondary education, one being a Nurse (BN) and the other a Fireman/ Paramedic.

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.

The following answers are not listed in any specific order.

  1. City Wide Amalgamation of School Boards - I support this issue
  2. Province Wide Salary Negotiations - I support this issue
  3. Maintenance and replacement of aging buildings - I believe this issue needs to be addressed
  4. Child Obesity - I believe all schools need to take a much more active role in this issue
  5. There was an issue this spring with the re-assement of home values and the increase/decrease in some home owners property taxes. I believe we need to address this issue with the City of Winnipeg Assessment Department as well as the Provincial Government so that all future changes in the values of our properties will be more equal.
  6. There was the issue where neighbourhoods with lower valued homes received larger increases in their property taxes than the higher valued homes in the more expensive neighbourhoods. Some of those more expensive homes actually had property tax decreases.

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.

My greatest support would first be for projects in my own area

  1. To continue to upgrade all our schools to be more green and environmentally friendly
  2. To continue to upgrade the older schools to be more energy efficient
  3. Ensuring the successful completion of the new building renovations at George V School
  4. Building a new school in the North West quadrant of Ward 3 to accommodate the large student population
  5. Replacing the portable classrooms at Stanley Knowles School

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?

Teacher's salary increases should fall in line with the "cost of living".

I also believe it's time for Provincial wide bargaining instead of each separate division doing their own.

The increase or decrease in the number of teacher's in my division depends on the increase or decrease in student enrolment.

If our enrolment has declined there does not need to be an increase. On the other hand if our enrolment has increased, therefore we would need more teachers.

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)?

Schools that are operating at 50% capacity or less should be assessed and reviewed for closure.

The Province may need to look at these neighbourhoods and see if there is a way of revitalizing them and increasing the families in those areas.

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?

Some years the province's tax incentive grant is better than other years. It depends on the offer, if I would accept it or not. There was a year when the Winnipeg School Division did accept the offer because it did benefit the division and the taxpayer. There are other years where it was not as beneficial and we rejected it.

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

I personally do not believe in a property tax increase.

I believe their is still a lot of fat that can be cut in the Winnipeg School Division.

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 do not believe in the "no-fail" policy.

I do believe failed students should repeat a school year.

I also believe they should 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 be worth?

I do believe in standardized tests for mathematics and english for grades 3, 6, 9 and 12.

I do not think they should be worth a portion of the final mark in elementary school, but they should be used as a tool for assessing the child's development, strengths and weakness. It helps the teacher and parents see where the students may need help.

In high school I believe the standardized test should be worth anywhere from 10 to 25% of the students mark.

 

Darlyne Bautista

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?

No, I am not an incumbent trustee and I have never served or run at other political levels. I am endorsed by the NDP.

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?

Not applicable. I do not have any children. However, I am a graduate of the Winnipeg School Division. I attended Machray Elementary and St. John’s High 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.

I support the Winnipeg School Divisions’ 4 stated priorities: (1) to strengthen instruction and assessment strategies through the use of available resources and technology, (2) improve academic and behaviour support services for students with special needs, (3) enhance education for sustainable development initiatives, (4) improve school attendance and graduation rates through the exploration of additional programs and strategies. I also wish to add a fifth priority: to strengthen the role of the school in the community where students, parents, families and community groups of all cultures can participate actively in the collective education of our children.

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

As a newly elected school trustee, my top five priorities will include:

  1. professional development for administrators and educators on cross-cultural education especially for immigrant and refugee students,
  2. supports for special needs students,
  3. ensure accelerated programs remain available and accessible,
  4. before and after school programming for families,
  5. educational resources and technology. In terms of capital priorities for infrastructure, I will examine needs individually on a case by case basis.

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?

As a new trustee, I will need to first examine the budget and consult carefully with staff, teachers.

6. Should the province life its moratorium on school closing? Is or are there a school or schools in the divisions which should be received for closure because of low enrolment? Which one(s)?

I believe school closures should be considered on a case by case basis with the input of staff, students and community in mind.

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?

As a newly elected school trustee, I will first need to examine the budget and carefully consider the impact of potential cuts to jobs, services, and programs.

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

As a newly elected trustee, I will also need to first examine the budget carefully before making a decision to increase property taxes.

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?

Students who "fail" according to one type of pedagogy will likely repeat the same fate if they are put through the same process again. Whether a "failed" student is moved up a grade or kept back a grade, his/her unique and individual needs will not be met this way. I believe that the "so-called no-fail, social promotion policy" should teach to the child and examine differing methods of learning. This is especially true for immigrant and refugee children who are unfamiliar with the Canadian educational system.

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

Standardized tests encourage educators to ‘teach to the test’ rather than ‘teach to the child’. I feel that standardized tests reward those who are able to take tests well. Moreover, subjective standardized tests like the English Provincial Exam (S4) favour those with greater Canadian cultural competency. Should standardized tests be mandatory, it should be worth up to 15 percent of the final mark.

 

Suzanne Hrynyk

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 current incumbent in WSD, Ward 3. I am not running for a political party; however, I have been endorsed by the NDP. As the WFP is aware, elected school trustees are not party of the party system.

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 have a ten year old daughter who attends a public elementary school in a neighboring division related to daycare needs.

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. Budget – The ability to maintain services and programs
  2. Improving graduation rates
  3. Size of school wards- reducing the size of the three school wards in WSD and maintaining the current number of trustees in order to improve representation within the Ward structure.
  4. Supporting special needs children- Finding cost effective and creative ways with our staff and parents to deliver services.
  5. Supporting immigrant children- Finding cost effective and creative ways with our staff and parents to deliver services.

 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.

I support the current WSD capital priorities as passed by the WSD Board: New Construction

  1. Kelvin – Gymnasium and Multi Purpose
  2. Queenston- Gymnasium Addition
  3. Lord Nelson- Gymnasium Addition
  4. LaVerendrye- Gymnasium Addition
  5. Brock-Corydon – Gymnasium/Resource/Staff room and Classroom Addition.

For further information on the entire 5 Year Capital Plan Submission please see the WSD website.

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?

As a labour relations professional, I value and respect the collective bargaining process and would support a fair and reasonable collective agreement for teachers and all employees in the WSD. I support maintaining services in WSD.

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)?

As a trustee my personal opinion on this issue is irrelevant as the Province provides leadership regarding the Public Schools Act. In my opinion, this has not been an issue of concern in the WSD.

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?

The WSD trustees have accepted the TIG twice over the past 4 years. We have done so with the ability to maintain services and programs. I have supported taking the TIG provided no cuts to jobs, services or programs occur.

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

Over the past four years, WSD trustees have voted in favour of modest tax increases in order to maintain services and programs. Property tax increases passed by the current WSD trustees, including myself, was as follows for an average assessed house:

  • 2007 was $21 or 2.2 %
  • 2008 was $2 or 0.2%,
  • 2009 was $15 or 1.5%
  • 2010 was $0 or 0%

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?

Decisions regarding passing and failing are made by educators in consultation with parents. I would continue to support that practice. Decisions should be made on a case by case basis. Further, whether students are "docked marks for late assignments" should be made on a case by case basis depending on the circumstances for the lateness. I support teachers problem solving with their students in order to address this issue.

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

As a trustee, my personal opinion on this issue is irrelevant as this standard is set by the Province, however; in a 2006 survey conducted with parents in the WSD division, parents were more supportive of individual assessments conducted by the child’s teacher. I would support further discussion regarding this topic including parents, staff and government.

Did not respond:

Roy Hargrave

Sonia Prevost-Derbecker

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