I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
As the April 5th Spring Elections approach, I thought it was time to give the community some of my thoughts as to why I am running for School Board.
With the uncertainty with what is going on in Madison, it is important that we maximize our resources. These are public funds that we are talking about and we do not have any room to be wasting them. It amazes me when I hear about how far our kids are falling behind their international counterparts, but we continue to cut funding at both the Federal and State levels.
First and foremost it is for the kids. As I have been a vocal advocate for individuals with disabilities, I will be just as loud as an advocate for all kids. For those who are not aware, I have 3 kids in the school district and will be for some time. My two oldest will be entering 7th grade next year at the Middle School and my youngest will be entering 4th grade ay Lincoln. I may have a different perspective on issues that affect the kids, currently there are no Board members with kids still attending the Cudahy Schools.
I know that all kids learn at a different level, but we must ensure that we are reaching as many kids as possible. We need to make sure that we are utilizing every tool available to us. If it were up to my youngest, all homework should be in the form of an app for the IPad, this is his preferred method of learning. My kids have downloaded many apps, most for fun, but my wife and I made sure that there are educational ones as well. The ones that they want to use for reading and math homework have short quizzes at the end of them. The kids need to score at least 90% for this to count as their homework.
We need to make sure that we are giving our kids have the tools needed to get a quality and well rounded education. These tools can range from updated computers to classes they can take to allow them to persue their individual dreams. I know that the district is looking at Virtual Classes. These could give students opportunities that may not normally be available to them. I know that Superintendnt Heiden has mentioned Mandarin Chinese foreign language as a possibility. Could this be set up to start the kids at the grade school level?
We need to think about classes of the future. Again, my youngest has an interest in computers. Can we offer classes on basic computer program design? Allow the students to design basic games or apps. I know that there are more and I am always willing to listen to your ideas.
Are there opportunities to work with our neighboring communities to bring classes that might otherwise be discontinued due to budget consrtaints? Instead of cutting a program all together, why don't we see what St Francis and South Milwaukee are doing and see if between the 3 districts we can keep a program viable. I am not sure how it would work financially or logistically, but I know we share some athletic teams with St Francis now, so I would have to guess, in the best interest of the kids, this can be accomplished.
We need to ensure that we are keeping our quality teachers and recruiting new ones. I am still a believer that a quality school system can bring families into our community. Part of a quality school system is the quality of the teachers. I am not sure how the changes in Madison would affect this process. I guess we just have to wait and see how it rolls out.
On issues that have a direct effect on people, I want to hear from that group that is being affected. An example would be the talk of 6th graders moving to the Middle School. I know that there have been talks with the parents, but what do the current group of 5th graders think? This goes back to my belief in Nothing About Us Without Us.
I believe that through my blog, I can keep citizens updated as to what is going on in the district, an example would be when and where the Boaed meetings are being held. They currently move around the district so each school can show the Board how they are working on improving the education proces for their students.
I know that I do not have all of the answers, but I am willing to work with members of the community to come up with solutions. Together we can continue our quality education in the Cudahy School District.