Thursday, October 29, 2015

Candidates for the Board of Education Part 2

29- October-2015

   This is the second part of   Bogota Blog NJ question for the Candidate for Board of Education.
   The Candidates at  current Board Member Kathy Van Buren, Eileen Lewis,  Michael Cabana, Asia Burnett  Michael Leong, and JoEllen Granquist.
     The answers to the first question will be presented in the order they have been received by Bogota Blog NJ. Then a different Candidate will have their answer displayed first.  Today will feature the final two question out of five total.
  The election will be held on Tuesday 3-November. Polls in New Jersey will open at 6:00a and be open until 8:00p 

  Are there ways the District can support youth programs like the Bogota Police Emergency  Service Youth Academy, The Girl Scouts,  Boy Scouts, and others groups.

Mr. Leong: Board members, especially if they are members of the PTOs and have children with the system, can set examples by helping with events held by these groups.  Board members, teachers, high school volunteers can become leaders, assistants, coaches that will help the children of the community flourish and rise above their potential. This shows students in our community the willingness by parents, educators, fellow students how everyone can work together despite age, race, religion, or political affiliation. 

Ms. Burnett:  Of course, children are first in the eyes of the board.  Collaborating with other organizations such as the PTO/PTA and Youth Academies are a great ways for the board to stay in touch with the needs of the community and keep in place or make changes to policies that are effective and relevant.

Ms. Van Buren: Although the district cannot financially support youth groups and programs, it can, and does, allow such groups to use the facilities, from classrooms to fields.

Ms. Lewis: Absolutely, because we are such a small town, community groups need to work together to pool our resources and support our students. From simple items like distributing flyers to using the school facilities, the district has supported these groups, but I feel that we can do more. Students can be encouraged to take advantage of guest speakers, writing, and art programs at the library, perhaps by extra credit or recognition, to increase participation and provide additional enrichment opportunities. I would like to see a community calendar online so that community groups can be aware of events scheduled by other groups to avoid conflicts. All of these things will strengthen our community, and make Bogota a safer, better, town. 

Ms Granquist:  Keep our facilities updated and encourage town recreation groups to use them.

Mr. Cabana:  Personally board of education members can volunteer time and support all of these programs.  The board can only approve the usage of the facilities of the district.  Members can not spend tax payer’s dollars on anything other than education.

In addition to financial compensation, what other ways can the school District attract, and keep Administrators and teachers. 

 Ms. Burnett:   Keeping and attracting the best administrators and teachers is extremely important.  Just as families want the best technology, varied opportunities and programs, teachers and administrators desire an environment with lots of resources, support and a district that is innovative.  We need to provide our students with the best by hiring and keeping the best educators.  One way is to develop a strong hiring team that is committed to attracting, recruiting and hiring new educators.  

Ms. Van Buren: To attract administrators and teachers, the district needs to improve it’s current standing in test scores and opportunities. The district needs to ensure that all members of the faculty, administration and staff are treated with respect by the Superintendent, that all are given the opportunity to be partners in the district’s goal for improvement, and that a hostile work environment is unacceptable. 

Ms. Lewis: A stable administration is an important part of a successful education system. It’s difficult to move forward if the players and the plan keep changing. But we also need to take the time to choose candidates that will work best within our district and to actively foster a collaborative relationship between administration, staff, and the school board. To retain and attract teachers, we need to promote a positive work environment in which they feel empowered and inspired, as opposed to conforming to rigid standards and ‘teaching to the test’. We need to offer opportunities for additional training, professional development, or mentorships and make sure they are respected and supported. 

Ms.Granquist: Teachers want to work in great districts.  We need to continue to improve test scores to attract the best and the brightest teachers and administrators.

Mr. Cabana: As a school teacher I understand the difficulties districts may have in keeping administration or quality teachers.  Besides compensation there are ways to keep staff happy such as having strong leadership.  Positive school climate is also a big factor, working in a hostile environment forces good staff members to leave.   Good working conditions, happy students and staff make working enjoyable a big factor when not being rewarded financially.  Having adequate resources to teach effectively keeps teachers in good spirits.  A strong parental and community involvement make staying in a district very appealing as well.  What we need to make sure is that the people we are attracting or keeping are the very best that we can.  In some cases where an employee is not very effective at there job it is better to have turn over than to keep incompetent employees for the sake of stability.  There are many districts that have very high turnover rates and still have consistently out performed our district in terms of test scores and student performance.  

Mr. Leong: Our teachers need to feel appreciated. Although the PTOs make an effort to build the relationship between teachers, administrators, and students, good team start from the top leading by example and work it’s way down to team members. Board of Education members and administrators need to demonstrate that they care. They need to listen and take the proper action on the requests of teachers. Board members should attend school functions to show support for students and teachers. They need to make sure positions are filled in a timely manner reducing stressful environments. Leadership positions, such as principals, need to be filled in a timely manner to ensure school growth, proper supervision of the curriculum and students, as well as a vision for the school's direction. 

Polls are located at the at :
-- For Districts 1& 6 it is the Bogota Recreation Center at 162 W. Main St.
   Districts 1&6 is that part of the Borough located West of the Railroad tracks.

-- For Districts 2&3 it is the Gym of  Bogota High School at 1 Henry Luthin Pl.  please use the door towards the back of the building on the North side of the Building.
  Districts 2& 3  is that part of the Borough located East of the Railroad tracks & North of Beechwood Ave

--  For Districts 4&5 it is  in the Gym of the Roy Bixby School at Maplewood & Fischer Aves.
     Districts 4 &5  is that part of the Borough located East of the Railroad tracks & South of Beechwood Ave.

Ward Dist. Address
1 Bogota Recreation Center - 162 West Main Street
2 Bogota High School Gym - One Henry Luthin Pl. (Left Rear of Bldg)
3 Bogota High School Gym - One Henry Luthin Pl. (Left Rear of Bldg)
4 E. Roy Bixby School Gym. Maplewood & Fischer Aves
5 E. Roy Bixby School Gym. Maplewood & Fischer Aves.
6 Bogota Recreation Center-162 West Main St.

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